A former Rains County (Texas) deputy has been indicted by a grand jury on a felony animal cruelty charge over the controversial shooting of a Texas farmer’s dog last month. He faces up to two years behind bars.
Jerrod Dooley, 32, ignited a public firestorm after he shot Cole Middleton’s cattle dog, Candy, after claiming the animal “charged” him as he was responding to a report of a burglary at the residence. Middleton refused to let it go and did interviews with news stations and spread his story on social media.
He also had an autopsy done on Candy, which apparently showed the animal may have been shot while retreating as the bullet went in through the back of her head and came out towards her nose. Further, after reviewing the dash cam video of the incident, Middleton said he was more convinced than ever that the shooting was unjustified.
Middleton said he had to do the “unimaginable” and drown his dog in a bucket of water to put her out of her misery after the bullet failed to kill her.
Dooley was quickly fired over the incident.
Dooley’s attorney, Pete Schulte, called the indictment a “political knee jerk reaction by the DA in Rains County.” He says there’s “no way this case will stand up in court."
"They indicted him within two weeks," the attorney said. "That never happens."
The dash cam video shows Candy barking and then jumping out of the bed of Middleton’s truck. The actual shooting, however, was not captured on video.
Dooley expressed remorse in a tearful interview with WFAA-TV last month. He said he is a dog lover and used to work for the SPCA.
“I hear her yelp every night before I go to bed. There's probably not a minute that goes by that I don't think about it,” he said. “I’d give anything to walk up to him, hug his neck, try to make his pain go away. I know I'll never get that chance."
Dooley also claims he has been receiving death threats and is unable to go to the grocery store without being “recognized, pointed at, laughed at.”