On Friday, a 17-year-old Florida boy learned that he will go to prison for 23 years for the fatal shooting of a retired police dog, according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
Ivins Rosier was found guilty of cruelty to animals with a firearm, in May. Additionally, the teen was accused of burglary of a dwelling with a firearm and shooting into a building in connection with the Nov. 18, 2012 shooting of a police dog as he broke into the home of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, Robert Boody. Rosier’s co-defendant, 20-year-old Gilson Gilles, is still awaiting trial on the same charges.
Prosecutors told the jury that Rosier, who was wearing a GPS bracelet due to a previous burglary arrest, had confessed to breaking into the residence. The Associated Press reported that Rosier had refused to take a plea agreement that would have him serving a sentence of three years less.
Jack Fleischman, Rosier’s attorney, told the Sun-Sentinel that he would seek a new trial for his client because the indictment violated his right to be tried as a juvenile. He also noted that prosecutors did not present any DNA, fingerprints or weapons 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 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.
Drake, the animal victim, was retired from service at the time of the shooting. He was euthanized five days after the incident as he had sustained heavy blood loss, head and jaw wounds, and damage to his 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 of shooting a private citizen’s dog.