A former Laurel, Indiana reserve police officer has been criminally charged following the death of his K-9, according to a WISH-TV report in Indianapolis.
Clint Ellis, 34, was charged earlier this month with striking or interfering with a law enforcement animal, a felony, and misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal in connection to his K-9 Blade, who died on News Year’s Day, the station reports.
Court documents allege friends of Ellis saw Blade lying in his own waste, dead in his cage on New Year’s Day in January. Those friends added Blade lost a significant amount of weight since Ellis got the dog in August, the station reports.
After Blade’s death, Laurel police posted on their Facebook page the police dog became sick while in his handler’s care and died. However, that post has since been deleted, according to WISH-TV.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources investigated the dog’s death and sent Blade’s body to Purdue University for a necropsy. The necropsy found Blade died from an intestinal foreign body and emaciation, the station reports.
This is not the first time Ellis has faced criminal charges in 2018. In February, he was charged with two theft charges while he was still with the Laurel Police Department.
A fellow Laural police reserve officer contacted the Indiana State Police in January after receiving a stolen handgun as a gift from Ellis, the station reports. Police and court documents indicate Ellis seized four handguns, including the one he later gave as a gift, after executing a search warrant in November.
Ellis allegedly didn’t put the one gun into evidence and kept it in his possession until he gave it to the other officer as a gift, according to WISH-TV.
The investigation also found Ellis obtained $2,500 from the city to conduct drug investigations, but the money was never used for its intended purpose and he could not account for it.
Ellis was “relieved of his position” with the department in January.
The Laurel Police Department was Ellis’ third department as an office. He started with Liberty, Indiana police and was let go in 2011. However the department didn’t specify to WISH-TV why he was let go.
Ellis was then hired by the Carthage Police Department but he was kicked out of the police academy for unauthorized computer use, the station reports.