NFL’s Terrence Cody Cleared of Animal Abuse Charges for Letting His Dog Starve

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MARCH 24, 2016 UPDATE: Terrence Cody was sentenced today to nine months in the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Terrence Cody cleared of animal cruelty charges

After a three-day bench trial, former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody has been acquitted of felony animal cruelty charges that he “intentionally tortured” and “cruelly killed” Taz, his Presa Canarios Mastiff, earlier this year.

Judge Judith C. Ensor did, however, charge Cody with five counts of animal neglect, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Before announcing her verdict, the judge said she was aware that not every “morally reprehensible” action is against the law.

Cody was also found guilty of illegally possessing and neglecting an alligator, and convicted of two misdemeanor drug charges.

According to the disturbing details in a February 2015 indictment, Cody and his girlfriend, Kourtney J. Kelley, inflicted unnecessary suffering or pain on Taz; did not provide their dog with nutritious food or proper drink in sufficiency quantity; did not provide proper space; and did not provide necessary veterinary care.

Taz weighed only 50 pounds when he died in January. The average weight for a Presa Canarios Mastiff is about 100 pounds.

Cody was dropped from the Ravens after the February indictment was made public.

In his opening statements Thursday, prosecutor Adam Lippe said Taz “died a horrible, miserable death.” He displayed a photo of Taz’s small cage, filled with feces and vomit, and compared it to a photo of Cody’s shoe room, which was neat and tidy.

On the witness stand in his own defense Friday, Cody said he and his uncle run a breeding operation in Alabama. When Taz started losing weight in December 2014, Cody said his uncle thought he might have worms and advised Cody to give him medication for the condition.

About a month later, Cody finally took the emaciated dog to a veterinarian.

“I asked them could they help me with my dog, because my dog was very sick,” he testified, according to WBAL.

When he was told Taz died hours later, Cody said he was “speechless. I went into my own little world. I was still shocked that he was gone.”

Baltimore County Police Sgt. Andrew MacLellan testified Friday that when he executed a search warrant on Cody’s property two days after Taz died, he found the dog’s filthy cage in the garage. He said the smell was so bad that he and other detectives had to hold their noses and cover their mouths.

Cody told him Taz had only become sick a few days before he died, MacLellan testified. He said he kept him in the garage because he was a guard dog.

During the search, the detectives also found drug paraphernalia and a 3-foot-long alligator in a 3-foot-long tank.

Kelley’s attorney said she is innocent and was not involved in Taz’s care. Like Cody, she was acquitted of the felony animal cruelty charges (as well as the alligator and drug charges) and found guilty on the five counts of neglect.

Judge Ensor decided the verdict since Cody and Kelley chose a bench trial rather than a trial by jury. Cody is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 5, and Kelley on Jan. 22.

They are each facing more than a year of prison time and thousands of dollars in fines.

Photo via Twitter

  • Hanibelle.Lectress

    He even looks like an above the law arrogant pos. You can see he hasn’t missed meals. Naturally he got away with it. Too bad the alligator didn’t slowly kill him. Pos!

  • Terry

    He should of got a felony and they need to make stricter laws. He probably did it on purpose how could you willfully leave a dog in that condition resulting from starvation and dehydration. Isolation, and neglect. Dog probably didnt act the way he wanted him and decided to let him starve to death. Just like that creep who taped that poor pittys mouth,
    Misdemeanor really?

  • Jen

    This piece of shi*. Fat ugly garbage. I hope he never breathes again on this earth.

  • William

    I’m sorry but when your supposedly a celebrity or whatever, there should be exaggerated consequences for such horrible things like this. People like this should be made an example of not given 3 hots and a cot in jail on the tax payers dime. What message does that send to children? Michael Vick goes back to playing football, money enough to feed thousands of shelter dog, hundreds of families….. (except he went back to living in the lap of luxury.) It’s no wonder society is crumbling.

  • disqus_YEPURa8XEv

    He and his girl need to pay big time and that stupid judge…apparently doesn’t give a rats behind about life or the torture and agony this poor dog went through..doesn’t that account for something? Or, does she think that the dog doesn’t feel or have feelings? What a stupid stupid bitch..both the judge girlfriend and the NFL..I hope he never gets a job anywhere.,…and I hope that one day he gets the same treatment and dies a slow agonizing death from something and her too. He lied about the worms to cover up the neglect. He is not only a murderer but also a liar. F—ing pisses me off to no end.

  • Janelle Sadler

    If ya play football, you get a free pass in our screwed up society. May he rot in hell.

  • Thomas Bobo

    He lost 50 lbs. in a few days… really.

  • Thomas Bobo

    There was a similar case once, 20 years ago, where 2 male teens broke into a veterinary clinic and beat 16 cats to death with baseball bats. They wound up pretty much getting a slap on the wrist, and it was estimated that the cats were around $32 a piece. They pretty much got misdemeanor charges for breaking into the clinic. How can you put a worth on a pet, and who could do such a thing. I recall, at the time, there were comments made, “oh, they’re only animals.” These were someone’s pets, and someone broke in and killed them. Serial killers kill animals to practice.