Former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody, who was found guilty in November of five counts of animal neglect but acquitted of felony animal cruelty charges that he “intentionally tortured” and “cruelly killed” Taz, his Presa Canarios Mastiff, was sentenced today to nine months in the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Cody was facing more than two years in jail, but apparently Judge Judith C. Ensor decided to be kinder to him than Cody was to his dog.
“He was a guy that portrayed himself as knowledgeable about animals — he knew about animals, he’s trained animals, he owned animals,” Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Lippe told WJZ today, “but he turned on this one dog.”
Back in November, before Ensor charged Cody with the five counts of animal neglect, she said was aware that not every “morally reprehensible” action is against the law, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Caroline Griffin, former chairperson of the Baltimore Anti-Animal Abuse Commission, told WBFF this week she didn’t understand why Ensor dropped the felony animal cruelty charges Cody had been facing.
“I think the public believes and a jury very likely would have found this to be a felony,” she said. “I think people are scratching their heads as to why he was convicted only of several misdemeanors.”
According to the disturbing details in a February 2015 indictment, Cody and his girlfriend, Kourtney J. Kelley, inflicted unnecessary suffering or pain on Taz. They did not provide their dog with nutritious food or proper drink in sufficiency quantity, did not provide proper space for their dog, 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.
“The evidence in this case was that he directed all his attention or lack of attention to this one animal,” Lippe told WBFF. “He deliberately picked on one of his dogs. The other dogs were fat and happy. Taz he decided to kill.”
Cody was dropped from the Ravens after the February indictment was made public.
Last month, Kelley was sentenced to 60 days in jail for animal cruelty.
Cody was also sentenced today to probation for the illegal possession of an alligator and possession of drug paraphernalia. He cannot own or possess an animal during his 18 months of supervised probation (after which, apparently, he’s free to buy and starve another dog). Cody must also undergo mental health treatment.
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