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By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore police officer will plead guilty to a felony animal cruelty charge after he fatally beat and choked his girlfriend’s Jack Russell terrier, his attorney said Tuesday.

Alec Eugene Taylor, 28, a five year veteran of the department was charged in March after the dog’s body was exhumed and analyzed by animal services.

Taylor’s attorney, Warren A. Brown, said his client regretted what he did. Brown blamed the attack on the puppy to the stress of Taylor’s work and daily life, a combination that led him to act “in a way that customarily he wouldn’t.”

“When you look at his background he’s done nothing but been of benefit to people and society,” Brown added.

Investigators in Montgomery County, where Taylor lives, said that Taylor beat the 7-month-old dog, which was named Rocko, with a mop and then choked it, before sending a picture of its remains to his girlfriend.

The Baltimore Police Department suspended Taylor without pay when the charges were filed and the pleading to a felony count will likely lead to him losing his job, Brown said.

Taylor was due in court Tuesday to enter his plea, but Brown said the case has been postponed until the end of the month. Court records show a plea agreement has been entered for a judge’s review.

Brown said prosecutors are seeking a sentence of either probation or up to three months in jail, but that he hopes his client will be offered probation before judgment so he can eventually wipe clean his record.

AFP Photo/Mat Hayward

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Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

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