Man gets 44 months in jail for killing police dog

February 20th, 2009 - 6:01 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Feb 20 (DPA) A man who sent a police dog to its death as it was trying to prevent him from committing suicide has been sentenced to 44 months in jail, the San Diego Tribune has reported.
Cory Byron, 27, was attempting to jump off the Coronado Bridge in San Diego Dec 31, 2007, after driving drunkenly through traffic. A police office trying to apprehend him saw Byron’s suicide bid and released police dog Stryker to intercept.

As Byron got ready to jump off the bridge, Stryker locked his teeth onto his arm and both plunged some 70 meters into the waters below.

Byron survived the fall and was rescued, but the dog died.

He pleaded guilty last September to one count each of felony evading and driving under the influence. He also entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanour charge of harming a service animal. He told the court that he did not realise the dog had fallen with him.

California highway patrol officers say Byron’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. He has been in jail since the incident and could be released later this year.

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