A 17-year-old Florida boy was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Friday for the fatal shooting of a retired police dog, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported.
Ivins Rosier was found guilty in May on charges of cruelty to animals with a firearm, burglary of a dwelling with a firearm and shooting into a building in connection with the Nov. 18, 2012 shooting of the dog while breaking into Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Boody's home. Rosier's co-defendant, 20-year-old Gilson Gilles, is still awaiting trial on the same charges.
Prosecutors noted to the jury that Rosier confessed to breaking into the residence while wearing a GPS bracelet because of a previous burglary arrest. The Associated Press reported that Rosier had refused to take a plea agreement requiring him to serve a 20-year sentence.
Rosier's attorney, Jack Fleischman, told the Sun-Sentinel that he would seek a new trial for his client, saying his indictment violated his right to be tried as a juvenile and that prosecutors did not present any DNA, fingerprints or weapon connecting his client to the dog's death.
"Mere presence at the scene of a crime is insufficient to convict," Fleischman said. If you take his statement out, what's left? They have zero evidence."
Fleischman also accused Detective Philip DiMola of trying to "hustle" Rosier during an interrogation three days after the shooting when he said, "If you shoot that dog and he dies, that's murder of a law enforcement officer." The jury watched the video as part of its deliberations on Friday.
At the time of the shooting, the dog, Drake, was retired from service. It was euthanized five days after the incident after sustaining heavy blood loss, head and jaw wounds, and damage to its esophagus.
"A gun in a 16 year-old's hand can do equally the damage as a gun in an adult's hand," assistant state attorney Judy Arco told the jury. "He's not a child."
To date, many county prosecutors have shown less of a desire to pursue a case when a police officer is accused shooting a private citizen's dog.
Watch a report by WPTV-TV on the sentencing, as aired on Friday, below.