K-9 Bak’s Horrific Death ~ His Killer Returns…

K-9 Bak’s Horrific Death ~ His Killer Returns…

This is an update on another K9 unresolved hot car death from 2016. It is particularly gruesome. 

I first brought you the story of K-9 Bak on August 30, 2016, in a story called What Is It With These Psycho Cops?? Bak’s death was so disturbing, so egregious that I mentioned him in several posts including The Tragedy of K-9 Bak  on November 3, 2016.

Eight-year-old K-9 Bak was with the Stephens County OK Sheriff’s Dept. for six years. He was dual trained in both narcotics and detection and according to Sheriff Wayne McKinney, brought excellent work to the department. For the past four years, he was partnered with Deputy Matthew Peck, with whom he resided. Ironically, both K-9 Bak and Deputy Peck had both been with the department for six years.

On August 3, 2016, Deputy Peck finished his shift and returned home with Bak in the vehicle. Peck was off duty until August 5. We don’t know if K-9 Bak lived inside Peck’s home or in an outside kennel. What we do know however is that when Peck exited the patrol unit on August 3, he left K-9 Bak inside. Left him with no food, no water, and no air flow.

The outside temperature on August 3 was 100 degrees F  and remained high the rest of the week.

When Deputy Peck entered the patrol unit on August 5, he discovered his partner’s dead body. There was also a noticeable odor. In the initial media reports there were some discrepancies as to exactly when on August 5 Peck discovered K-9 Bak deceased; one report said he discovered him as soon as he entered the patrol vehicle and another said it wasn’t till he arrived at the Sheriff’s Department then reentered the vehicle to go to court that he made the gruesome discovery. In either event, the dog was left unattended for 38 hours. I cannot comprehend how a handler who has been partnered with a K9 for four years fails to notice that the dog is not out and about. Did it dawn on Peck when Bak’s usual meal time rolled around? Did he once stop and think, “Where is my partner”?When you handle a dog every working day, month after month, they become just as close to you as any human partner. If a human officer willfully abandoned his partner to die of heat exhaustion, he’d be not only fired, he’d immediately be brought up on felony murder charges.

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Matthew Thomas Peck was arrested on August 29 and charged with one count of cruelty to an animal, a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, and a fine of up to $5,000. After booking he was released on bond.

Matthew Peck

I had planned on attending his hearing scheduled for November 30, 2016, but was notified by the district attorney’s office that Peck had been deployed and would be leaving prior to November 30, therefore, the hearing was being postponed. He was deployed to the Ukraine on November 28 with the Oklahoma National Guard Company A 45th Brigade.

The wait began.

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On July 26, 2017, Matthew Peck’s unit returned to Oklahoma.

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He has a Preliminary Hearing Conference scheduled for October 11, 2017, at 9 am at the Stephens County Courthouse. All filed documents pertaining to this case are public record and available online at the Oklahoma State Courts Network. Once the link opens it will automatically be on the Stephens County page. Enter case number CF-16-387 and his case will appear. Documents can either be viewed or downloaded.

Although it’s imperfect, justice does still exist in the world. I have faith in Stephens County Assistant District Attorney Cortnie Siess to ensure that K9 Officer Bak receives it and that his slow and agonizing death does not go unpunished.

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K-9 Bak

EOW August 5, 2016

Stephens County Sheriff’s Department

He has gone home to rest for the final time

“Officer Kilo Bak is 10-42 … Good Boy Bak”

 

💙💙The  blue line has not forgotten you💙💙

*To be continued in November 💙🖤

 

Next Up ~ A loyal K9 is brutally murdered in AR

 

K9 Killer Dan Peabody Had Major Charges Dropped But DA Appeals…

K9 Killer Dan Peabody Had Major Charges Dropped But DA Appeals…

I’ve written about former Cherokee County Lt. Daniel Peabody several times, the most recent being  Former Cop And Serial Dog Killer Dan Peabody ~ Manipulative As Ever… on December 3, 2016. On June 10, 2016, when Peabody arrived home from work at 4 pm, he left his partner, K-9 Inka, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, in a 2001 Crown Victoria police sedan which was not equipped with any type of heat sensors, not left running to provide air conditioning and with the windows closed. The outside temperature was in the low to mid-90s that day yet Peabody forgot about his partner for (3) hours. When he finally checked on Inka around 7 pm, she was dead. Peabody raised her from a puppy yet he was so distracted by another dog issue inside his home that he forgot not just a dog, but a dog that was a trained K-9 officer, a dog he spent every hour of his working day with. How does one do that?

Peabody was so distraught that night that he was taken to the hospital. On June 16 he abruptly resigned from his job of (16) years with the Cherokee County School Police Department. Per department policy a necropsy was done which indicated conclusively that K-9 Inka died from heat stroke as suspected. Temperature testing conducted on the car indicated that after about two hours and 45 minutes, the temperature inside K-9 Inka’s crate would have been 130 degrees F. She was trapped inside for (3) hours. K-9 Inka, a living sentient being in addition to being an officer,  roasted to death.

Then the unexpected happened. Investigators received tips that K-9 Inka was not the first dog to die in Peabody’s care. He was partnered with a Golden Labrador, K-9 Dale, from 2007 until Dale’s retirement at age (6) in 2012. Peabody claimed he was so attached to K-9 Dale that he wanted to adopt him which the department allowed. During the initial stages of the investigation into K-9 Inka’s death, when investigators from the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office asked about K-9  Dale, Peabody was evasive but then claimed the dog had choked to death on a tennis ball. During further questioning, Peabody admitted that he shot Dale shortly after his retirement because Dale was “ill” although no veterinary records supported his claim. Chief Marshal Ron Hunton of the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office made the following statement regarding Dale’s death:

Hunton said that Peabody claimed he shot the dog because “it had been aggressive” and suffered “some kind of ailment,” adding that the dog’s skull had a defect that could be consistent with a gunshot wound.

Peabody said Dale was buried at his former home and on June 20, armed with a search warrant, investigators dug until they discovered a dog’s decomposed body. They assumed it was K-9 Dale as there was evidence of a gunshot wound (GSW). Imagine the shock when forensic investigators discovered it was not Dale but a female Belgian Malinois, approximately (10) years old which they suspect was K-9 Inka’s grandmother. She also died from a GSW to her head.

Peabody was arrested on June 22 and charged with animal cruelty in K-9 Inka’s death and with providing a false statement about Dale’s death  He appeared in Cherokee County Superior Court with his attorney on October 13, 2016 where he entered not guilty pleas to (2) counts of aggravated animal cruelty and one count of making a false statement. In December his attorneys filed a motion to quash the indictments  against Peabody. 

On January 18, 2017, Judge Jackson Harris of the Cherokee County Superior Court dropped (2) of the most egregious charges;  aggravated cruelty to animals. Judge Harris left one count remaining, making a false statement to investigators. One media source indicated the false statement pertains to K-9 Inka’s death while another says it is regarding his false statements about the death of K-9 Dale. In either event, he lied. Repeatedly.  He also confessed yet his attorney made a successful argument that Peabody was on duty when K-9 Inka died because as a handler he is on duty continuously:

The state argued that when Peabody left his car and went inside, he “stepped away” from his duties, therefore the law does not apply. However, Peabody contends that as a K-9 handler, his duties related to the police dog are continuous, and the death of Inka happened “during the performance of his duties.”

Needless to say many people, both civilians and law enforcement, were shocked to learn of Judge Harris’s ruling which didn’t come to the media’s attention until February 21, 2017.

Daniel Peabody is a cold-blooded killer. He showed a callous disregard for the safety and welfare of his partner K-9 Inka, he murdered his former partner, retired (6) year old K-9 Dale by shooting him in the head shortly after he retired. He also killed a non-working dog, a female Belgian Malinois with a GSW to her head. His wife, Tyler Verlander-Peabody, was cited for operating a boarding and training business without a Cherokee County occupation tax certificate, sheriff’s officials said. She was also charged with operating a boarding and training business inside a residentially zoned district and operating a boarding and training business within 75 feet of a residential property. I have been unable to find the outcome of her citations but am fairly confident she was simply given a fine as no animals were reported to be in danger. According to her LinkedIn profile, which has since been deactivated, Tyler Verlander-Peabody has a company called Mirror Image Farm where she offers riding lessons, horse training and boarding. Her profile indicated she is highly accomplished in Schutzhund and French Ring:

Tyler Verlander is the proud owner of two Belgian Malinois (C’Spot & Freya), two horses (Molly & Tommy), and one pony (Abbey). Tyler has owned dogs all her life ranging from small dachshunds mixes to Anatolian Shepherds and most recently, her competition Belgian Malinois.

Tyler brings 15 years plus of animal training to the learning table. Just as every human learns differently, so do dogs. Tyler’s doggy students are able to be taught in the very individual manner they deserve…tailored to their learning style and delivered in a positive and clear manner. This concept also pertains to her human students so they walk away understanding and comprehending the training concepts so that they can mirror those talents at home.

She has been an active member of the Atlanta Working Dog Club since 2006 where she has been a trainer since 2010. Since 2006, she has been trained by her Coaches Robert J. Leigh (Training Director-AWDC) and Mike Morgan (Vice President-AWDC) in the German sport of Schutzhund (IPO) and French Ring.

Tyler’s dog C’Spot de Atlawor is handler/owner/trained (Titles: CSAU, BH, IPO 1 & 2 & 3-highest level) and Freya de Atlawor (Titles: CSAU, BH, IPO 1 & 2). Tyler’s coaching comes from the top trainers in the US.

Given a life lived full of dogs and her experience with the Atlanta Working Dog Club, Tyler is more than equipped to handle any dog with the care and responsibility needed for the dog owner to rest assured while they are away and/or in training.

Outside of the dogs, Tyler’s other love is in the horse community. She was riding before she could walk. Tyler has been teaching riding lessons and training horses for 12+ years and has trained with some of the top hunter/jumper trainers in the South East. Her company is Mirror Image Farm where she offers riding lessons, horse training/boarding.

Tyler Verlander-Peabody and her husband Daniel Peabody also own a dog training and boarding facility called The Doggy Dorm.

All of these phenomenal accomplishments yet she failed to obtain proper licensing.

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Then I stumbled upon an article and called Georgia to confirm since it was the only reference I could locate. Miraculously it was true. Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon G. Wallace has appealed the lower court’s decision to dismiss the (2) felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals. The Cherokee County District Attorney calendar log is extremely long so I’ve chosen to insert a screenshot of the page pertaining to Peabody.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-4-38-02-pm In closing, I’d like to share a few more things. The first is a statement made by Peabody’s defense attorney, David R. Wellingham of Marietta, GA on July 7, 2016. His statement came on the heels of the discovery of the third dead dog. Attorney Wellingham begins by calling the charges against Peabody  “absolutely baseless.”  He then continues to describe how Daniel and Taylor are grieving:

“Inka’s passing was a horrible and unintentional accident, one that has left Lieutenant Peabody completely devastated,” the statement says. “As their vast network of friends, family and law enforcement colleagues will tell you, Lieutenant Peabody and his wife, Tyler, love and adore animals. Lieutenant Peabody would never, ever intentionally abuse or show cruelty towards any animal, especially his beloved companion, Inka.” 

Attorney Willingham then states Peabody “has lost a member of his family,” and that he and his wife plead for privacy as “they continue to grieve Inka’s passing.”

“The truth will come to light, not in a court of public opinion, but in a court of law,” the statement goes on to say. “Until that time, the Peabody’s urge the public to withhold judgment and take false and distorted media reports with a healthy dose of skepticism. The Peabodys would like to thank their friends and loved ones for their continued love and support during this most difficult time.”

Next, a photo of the (2) deceased K-9s, Inka and Dale

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K-9 Inka EOW June 10, 2016
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Retired K-9 Dale EOW 2012?

K-9 Inka
EOW June 10, 2016
Cherokee County School Police Department, GA
She has gone home to rest for the final time
“Officer Kilo Inka is 10-42 … Good Girl Inka”

~~~

Retired K-9 Dale
EOW ?2012?
Cherokee County School Police Department, GA
He has gone home to rest for the final time
“Retired Officer Kilo Dale is 10-42 … Good Boy Dale”

The first to sense the hostility of a suspect,
The first to react to protect his master.
The first to enter where danger lurks.
The first to detect the hidden intruder.
The first to take action against violence.
The first to sense his master’s joy.
The first to know his master’s sorrow or fear.
The first to give his life in defense of his master.
The last to be forgotten by those who work with others like him.
They know him as a “Partner,” not just an animal.

Finally, where are retired K-9 Dale’s remains? 

K9 Lina ~ Even In Death Denied Justice Part 4…

K9 Lina ~ Even In Death Denied Justice Part 4…

I was going to end the tragic story of K9 Lina’s death with my previous post, however, I inevitably knew that one more egregious injustice needed to be told. It has frustrated me for over two months yet I am helpless.

On September 27, 2016, a woman from NJ wrote and launched a ForceChange petition asking for:

Justice For Dog Locked Inside Hot Car Until She Died
Posted by Lindsay Savitzky

The dog Ms. Savitzky sought justice for was K9 Lina. However, this is the photograph she used at the head of her petition:

img_9601She also targeted the wrong agency as the petition was to the attention of  Director William J. Bryant of the Arkansas State Police but in another area of the petition letter, she refers to K9 Lina’s handler as a deputy with Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

I looked at Ms. Savitzky’s profile on the ForceChange petition and she describes herself as:

I’m a woman in her 30s who lives in New Jersey and cares deeply for the welfare of people and animals. I volunteer at RBARI once a week, cleaning the kennel and socializing with cats looking for homes.

RBARI is Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland NJ (Bergen County) which indicated  Ms. Savitzky lives in the general area of my hometown. Since there was no way of contacting her, I sent an email to ForceChange describing the errors. A week passed without a response so I wrote again. I began noticing comments by people directly on the petition’s front page also outlining the errors but the petition remained the same for a month. I posted towards the end of October as did several law enforcement officers. Some even gave links to K9 Lina’s photo. She was a Belgian Malinois in an MCSO vehicle, not a springer spaniel in a red sports car. Meanwhile, time and energy that could have been focused on Lina were being spent trying to have an incorrect hence invalid petition corrected. Digressing a moment, this is not the first time I have encountered gross inaccuracies in a ForceChange petition. In October they published a petition about a man who sexually assaulted a dog, written by a woman whose bio said she is a copy editor. Unfortunately, the petition targeted an agency in a completely different state than which the offense occurred and the suspect lived. After two emails ForceChange corrected it.

K9 Lina’s petition, however, was not being corrected nor the writer or ForceChange responding to emails or comments left on the page. On October 30, 2016, I sent yet another email to ForceChange:

This petition is all wrong! I REALLY wish petition writers would fact check before putting something like this out. This is HORRIBLE! Do you even know what a Belgiun Malinois looks like? Are you afraid to say the handlers name? Because good handlers aren’t – his name is Deputy Jonathon Cornelison of the Madison County Sheriff’s Dept in Huntsville Arkansas. He works under Sheriff Philip Morgan. Need more information? On Sept. 9, 2016 he left his PARTNER, K9 Lina in HIS squad car parked in HIS driveway for over 6 hrs. During that time he took his children to daycare, helped a friend fix a lawnmower – here read it for yourself! It was 91 F outside BTW.

http://www.4029tv.com/article/madison-co-announces-discipline-for-k9-handler-after-dog-s-death/5265623

And since you obviously don’t know what a Belgian Malinois looks like or bothered to Google K9 Lina, here is her picture!

http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/prosecutor-not-filing-charges-against-deputy-for-k9-death

On November 1, 2016, the petition was changed. It was now targeted to Madison County Sheriff Phillip Morgan and the spaniel in a red car had been replaced with one of a K9 ~ just the wrong one! The picture was of a GSD whereas K9 Lina was a Belgian Malinois.

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This dog is K9 Conan, who until his retirement and subsequent death in 2015, was a bomb-sniffing dog with the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Dept in Appleton Wisconsin. Even if Linda Savitzky and/or ForceChange doesn’t know the difference between the two breeds, all it takes is to look at the K9’s shield to see it clearly doesn’t say Madison County Sheriff’s Department. Plus if you zoom in just a tad you can read ‘K-9 Outagamie County Sheriff’s Dept.’ When K9 Conan died in 2015, Outagamie County Sheriff’s Dept released a private video of Conan singing along to Toby Keith. 🎤⬅︎

By this point, I’m not even going to pretend I was nice. To put a picture of a deceased K9 from a department over 700 miles away is a not only a disgrace but disrespectful to both of these brave dogs. To be honest I was more upset over K9 Lina because it was obvious from my brief research that K9 Conan was valued and loved whereas K9 Lina was left in a hot car for over 6 hours in 90 degree weather where she died a slow and agonizing death while her handler cavorted around town helping a friend fix a lawnmower, paying bills, stopping in an auto parts store, going to the sheriff’s department and meeting an officer from another department at a sports bar ~ all on his time off.

I talked to other officers and they were just as surprised and disgusted as I was yet to this day none of our emails have been answered and the petition remains online and incorrect.  I wrote ForceChange yet again:

I’ve previously written you about the inaccuracies in this petition which commenters are pointing out as well yet you fail to respond.  I found it necessary  to email you last week because a petition written by a woman (who states she’s a copy editor) was directed to officials in the WRONG  state. I’ve noticed this is a trend with many petitions on your site which makes me leery of signing or promoting any of them.  It is not my job to edit every petition launched by ForceChange to ensure it’s accuracy. The petition I referenced does a disservice to both police K9s because the writer doesn’t have the facts correct and because ForceChange has neglected to address it when notified. Responsible K9 handlers are as appalled as I am. Wrong dog, wrong target.  In closing,  kindly remove my name from any of your mailing lists and for your edification I’m attaching the corrected photos.

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Next, I scrolled through Savitsky’s numerous petitions, found a site that she frequents and posted an open comment:

While I applaud your dedication and the work you do on behalf of animals, you wrote a ForceChange petition seeking justice for K9 Lina’s hot car death in AR. It was pointed out to ForceChange over a month ago that the wrong agency was targeted and that the springer spaniel in the red sports car was NOT Lina. Commenters including LEOs left links to K9 Lina’s picture. Emails were sent to ForceChange and finally the petition was edited. It is now worse than ever! I’m not going into all the errors here but read the comments on the petition YOU wrote. To top it off the dog’s photo you now have on the petition is a K9 but NOT Lina. It is K9 Conan, a bomb sniffing dog from WI who died in 2015. His badge on the picture clearly reads Outagamie County Sheriff’s Depart. K9 yet the petition insinuates it is K9 Lina. They weren’t  even the same breed! K9 Conan was a GSD; K9 Lina was a Belgian Malinois.  First the petition targeted the State Police who had NO jurisdiction since the handler is a Madison County deputy. Now it targets the sheriff who can’t charge the deputy since the Prosecutor (who is over the sheriff) decided no charges. Law enforcement is in an uproar over this Linda. Do you dislike them that much that you and ForceChange will allow an invalid petition to stay online uncorrected? Because if you do shame on you. You are no better than the deputy who left Lina to roast to death in a hot car for 6 hours!

Once again, no response so we give up. This grossly inaccurate petition just compounds the tragedy of K9 Lina’s death. The day after she was left in a hot car for hours by her handler, Sheriff Phillip Morgan blamed her death on the deputy’s  50 hour work week and lack of sleep. Sheriff  Morgan described the dog’s death as a “bad accident.  Matt Durrett, 4th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney declined to press charges against her handler, Deputy Jonathon Cornelison. The day following her death a Facebook support page was set up ~ for Jonathon Cornelison where very little is posted about the loss of this K9 officer. A memorial wasn’t held for K9 Lina until November 12.

It’s as if she never existed.The entire area seems to have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude. Making the situation sadder, she only served with MCSO for one year.

As for petition writers, to be blunt, if you don’t know the FACTS, stop writing garbage like this as it denigrates the seriousness of a K9’s death because of a handler’s negligence and in turn, that incompetent handler tarnishes the badges of thousands of excellent handlers who would take a bullet for their dog.

“A K9 officer is a universal dog that can detect, track, guard, and apprehend. A K9 dog is a separate officer that serves his duty just like any human officer.
Any offense against the dog makes you subject to prosecution and you may end up being incarcerated.”

Apparently, this does not apply to Arkansas.

I keep hoping for the day I don’t have to post this.

The first to sense the hostility of a suspect,

The first to react to protect his master.

The first to enter where danger lurks.

The first to detect the hidden intruder.

The first to take action against violence.

The first to sense his master’s joy.

The first to know his master’s sorrow or fear.

The first to give his life in defense of his master.

The last to be forgotten by those who work with others like him.

They know him as a “Partner,” not just an animal.

k9-lina-ar

Lina, I care…

Former Cop And Serial Dog Killer Dan Peabody ~ Manipulative As Ever…

Former Cop And Serial Dog Killer Dan Peabody ~ Manipulative As Ever…

Disgraced and repugnant former Lieutenant and Operations Commander for the Cherokee County GA  School Police Department is at it again.

I last wrote about this depraved person in my post of October 14, 2016 entitled

Daniel Peabody ~ Georgia Cop And Serial Dog Killer

He stands accused of the murder of three (3) dogs; K9 Inka, a Belgiun Malinois, by leaving her in a hot car, retired K9 Dale whom Peabody asked to keep upon Dale’s retirement at the early age of six (6) because he was “very attached” to him. So attached that shortly after Dale retired Peabody executed the  Golden Labrador with a bullet to the back of his head. He’s admitted to the killing but has not disclosed the location of Dale’s body. When police excavated the lawn of Peabody’s former home expecting to find Dale’s remains, instead they discovered a third unknown dog; an older female Belgian Malinois they suspect might have been K9 Inka’s grandmother. Her death was also from a bullet to the back of the head. Despite admitting guilt at the time, Peabody pled “Not Guilty” on October 12, 2016.

That’s because Peabody thinks he’s the injured party. Most do. Psychopaths appear to view the world and others instrumentally, as theirs for the taking. They’re typically profoundly selfish and lack emotion  Peabody considers himself invincible. As did Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy,  Zodiac Killer ~ the list goes on. They all had  specific proclivities; women, men, children, farm animals and with Peabody ~ working dogs.

This was evident in testimony he gave on December 1, 2016 when his attorneys filed a motion to  quash the  indictment against him. 🎥 (his arrogance is evident in his testimony)

Let’s hope the judge reviewing this motion sees it for what it really is and denies the defense’s request. Because despite what Peabody stated while on the stand, HE left K9 Inka to die a slow and agonizing  death in a chamber of oppressive heat. Not to mention the other dogs he killed by shooting them in the back of the head.  Will be interesting to see what scheme he comes up with to explain their executions. Wonder if, like K9 Inka, he’ll claim he was on duty…

I’ve opted not to show a picture of the crate K9 Inka was trapped in but if you look at this photo, you can see it in the rear of the car.

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inca-ga-peabody

Goodbye Sweet Girl…

💔💔💔 I am SO sorry that your handler is a murdering piece of waste.💔💔💔

Death of K9 Lina ~ The Aftermath Part 2

Death of K9 Lina ~ The Aftermath Part 2

On September 23, 2016, Matt Durrett, 4th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney of Washington County announced Deputy Jonathan Cornelison was not criminally negligent in the September 9th hot car death of K9 Lina because there was insufficient evidence to prove that he intended to hurt the 2-year-old K9. After the decision was announced Madison County Sheriff  Phillip Morgan declined to comment stating he hadn’t been able to thoroughly review the prosecutorial decision. On September 26, Sheriff Morgan announced the disciplinary action Deputy Cornelison would be subject to:

Deputy Cornelison will:

1. Be suspended without pay for 60 days.

2. Be removed from the K9 program.

3. Be decertified as a K9 Handler.

4. A letter of reprimand will be placed in his file.

Sheriff Morgan also announced that the department would install heat sensors in the K9 vehicles.

Nice, tidy ending for the tragic and unnecessary death of a young, vital Belgian Malinois named Lina. Yes, there is a difference between intention and negligence. Law enforcement officers understand that very well whether they choose to admit it or not. While I’m sure Deputy Cornelian didn’t get off duty that morning and decide “Today I’m going to kill my partner by leaving her unattended in the patrol car with the windows closed”, he was nonetheless clearly negligent and therefore responsible for her death.  In October 2015 Russ Hess, a retired handler and executive director of the United States Police K9 Association,  told reporters that “Police officers need to be held to a higher standard to protect their canine partners”. Both veteran handlers and animal advocates say such deaths are preventable and illustrate acts of negligence or over-reliance on technology to protect the dogs.  In this October 2015 interview, Scott Heiser, Director of the Criminal Justice Program for the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund said: “To our way of looking at things, an officer who allows a dog to die of heat exhaustion on duty is as neglectful as leaving a service revolver on a school playground.”

I agree wholeheartedly. Heat sensor systems such as Hot-N-Pop should be mandatory in all K9 vehicles.category1

Project Paws Alive, a nationwide 501(c) non-profit organization has created a nationwide K9 Heat Alarm Fund to provide law enforcement K9 Units with K9 heat alarm systems for agencies that cannot afford to purchase the equipment for their K9 vehicles. For those of you not aware of this truly wonderful organization, they operate completely on donations and sponsored support. Their mission? To provide lifesaving safety equipment to all working dogs. Please visit their website or find them on all social media venues.

15095054_1386450998052532_6828514393574483027_n
K9 Lina

Having said this, I still hold Deputy Cornelian 200% responsible for the death of K9 Lina.

Even if his vehicle had been equipped with a heat sensor unit, the system is not meant to be a long-term solution for your K9 partner while you help a friend fix a lawnmower, talk on the phone, pay a bill, stop in the station, run errands or confer with another agency on a police matter. I don’t care how busy you are, your dog depends on you, and  Deputy Cornelian failed her. Failed at keeping a beautiful dog alive and failed the taxpayers of the Madison County.

A handler still has to check on his partner even if the vehicle has a heat sensor system. You cannot solely rely on the equipment to protect your partner on a hot day while you run errands etc for hours.For the sake of argument let’s say Cornelian’s Crown Victoria was equipped with a heat sensor. Did it have the ability to pop a door lock? If so, was K9 Lina free in the vehicle or confined behind a barrier?

When he exited his vehicle after work that morning, why did he not automatically take K9 Lina out as well? Place her in the kennel behind the barn on his property where she lived?

When you train and handle a dog, they become just as close to you as any human partner. You cover each other. The handler depends on the dog to do the job they’ve been trained for and the dog depends on the handler to provide the basic necessities of life; food, water, cool air, and a place to sleep at the end of a long shift. But maybe I judge too harshly. Poor lad was “overworked” and suffered from “lack of sleep“. Perhaps people in Arkansas have a different genetic code than the rest of us mere mortals because, despite these obstacles aka excuses, instead of going to sleep after taking his children to daycare, Deputy Jonathan Cornelison made a series of choices. He chose to help repair a lawnmower at a friend’s house, chose to pay his water bill, chose to talk to his father on the telephone, chose to go to the bank, chose to go to the jail to meet with a probation officer and prosecutor, chose to go to the sheriff’s office, chose to go to an auto parts store, chose to meet with a Huntsville police officer regarding a DWI case and chose to have that discussion at JamDot Chillspot Spot Sports Bar & Grill in Huntsville.

At least we know Deputy Cornelian and the Huntsville officer stayed cool during their meeting because according to their Facebook page,JamDot Chill Spot is a restaurant/Sports Bar in Huntsville, AR where you can chill with friends and enjoy a nice meal and adult beverage. We have 10 TVs!!” Very nice considering the temperature at midday was 91 degrees F.

Meanwhile back at Cornelian’s home, I wonder how hot it was in the Crown Vic where K9 Lina was literally trapped?

Actually, I could tell you and be relatively close. I could also tell you the physiological effect extreme heat has on a dog’s body. I researched the subject in-depth following another hot car death of a K9 earlier in 2016. I also included this hot car temperature called Heat Kills in K9 Lina Part 1. It is excellent and easy to understand plus it includes videos which demonstrate how quickly the interior of a car becomes a death trap.

As sad as I was I felt there wasn’t much I could do about K9 Lina’s death.  I started to file away the URLs, photos, and notes I’d gathered on her. Then I saw it; staring back at me.

It was the first local newspaper report written approximately 1.5 hours after Deputy Cornelison discovered Lina’s body. I remember when I initially read it I had a feeling it would disappear so I quickly took a screenshot plus saved the page as a web page archive.

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Do you see what it was in the second paragraph that caught my eye? 

I’m glad I saved it because it did indeed “go away” but in its place came a social media firestorm; not for the deceased Lina but rather, the “poor kid”. I even discovered a relationship of sorts between Cornelison and the family of another disgraced handler. There was no pity for Lina ~ only blame-shifting by the masses. As I was preparing to begin writing this (never dreaming it would become so convoluted) I looked at the MCSO website to see how they had memorialized K9 Lina. As you can see, on November 18, 2016, she was still listed as being part of the MCSO K9 Unit.

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To complete the story of K9 Lina’s tragic and preventable death, I’m going to have to write another post;  K9 Lina ~ The Blame Game Part 3.

Insomnia Over a K9 Death…

Insomnia Over a K9 Death…

I’m having an extremely difficult time sleeping ~ all because of something I discovered regarding K9 Bak, the deceased officer from Stephen’s County Sheriff’s Dept. in Duncan OK. On November 4, 2016,  I wrote a lengthy post on the horrific way this loyal six  year veteran died called The Tragedy of K9 Bak… which went into great detail about the circumstances of his death, or in his case, murder.

But my insomnia isn’t from thinking about how K9 Bak died but rather, the events surrounding the memorial service the community organized  as a way of honoring his life, something  I closed my original post with. Last night a few details came to light.

Since the Stephen’s County Sheriff’s Department had not made any type of memorial arrangements yet, a member of the community took the initiative and began making plans for a community memorial. It was to be held on the East Side of the Stephen’s County Courthouse (the Sheriff’s Department is located within the same building). The reason for this is there is a monument on the East Side that is a tribute to fallen officers. It was scheduled for 10 am on September 6.

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Stephen’s County Courthouse

Sheriff Wayne McKinney told the Duncan Banner why his department would not be doing a memorial for K9 Bak at this time. Since the Duncan Banner only allows a few views before locking one out until you subscribe, I copied their article to a document with a sharable link.

Community hosting memorial for K9 Bak

On August 31, one of the organizers announced that the  memorial service had to be relocated from the courthouse to the local park which is one half mile away. The reason? “Changed location to Duncan Park. Sheriff up for reelection so can’t be honoring this officer at the courthouse. Hmmmm”. I checked the election results only to find that Sheriff McKinney did win however the election was June 28. My turn to say “Hmmmm”. For whatever reason the organizers had to move the location.

K9 Bak’s EOW was August 5, 2016. His former handler, Matthew Peck,  was terminated immediately. Some details of K9 Bak’s death and Sheriff Wayne McKinney’s response are in this video report from NBC4i from August 27.

On August 29, Peck was charged with one (1) count of felony animal cruelty.

On September 6 as promised community members had a small but lovely memorial for K9 Bak that brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t see a uniform presence in any of the photos and one of the attendees said “It would have been nice to have some police support”. Perhaps they were in street clothes?

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Bless this comminity!

In closing, sadly this is not a video of K9 Bak however  I wish he had been remenbered by his “family” like this. Perhaps they will ….someday. After all, he was a loyal BlueDog.

The Senseless Death of K9 Lina…Part 1

The Senseless Death of K9 Lina…Part 1

Madison County is in Northwest Arkansas and encompasses approximately  837 square miles. The last census from  2010 census indicates a population of 15,717. The county seat is Huntsville, nicknamed the “Crossroads of the Ozarks“. Huntsville has a police department and coverage is also provided by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department (MCSO). The MSCO acquired  K9 Lina in either 2014 or 2015. As I’ve discovered since I started writing about K9 deaths, media reports often give conflicting information. I also learned that Arkansas does not respond to FOIA requests unless they are submitted by a resident of the state. What I do know is that through community donations, the MSCO was able to purchase a female  Belgian Malinois from K9 Working Dogs International, LLC. located in Longford, Kansas. The website says that Police Dog Pricing ranges from $4,500.00 to $15,500.00 which is most likely based on how advanced the dog’s training is at time of purchase. I don’t know how much training K-9 Lina had prior to joining Madison County, only that Deputy Cornelison trained to be her handler at K9 Working Dogs for three weeks. By the time she hit the road with her handler,  K-9 Lina was trained to track and detect narcotics. She also lived at his residence with his family and a family dog where she was housed in an outside kennel behind a barn.j-cornelison

What I DO know is that after being a K9 Officer for Madison County for one year, K-9 Lina died in Deputy Cornelison’s patrol vehicle, a Ford Crown Victoria, on September 9, 2016.

Again, more mainstream media discrepancies as some report K-9 Lina remained inside the vehicle when Cornelison arrived home from work at 6 am until the discovery of her body at 2:45 – 3 pm. Others reported that Cornelison took Lina out of the vehicle and kennelled her until he was called out to assist with an accident at which point he removed her from her kennel and to the wreck with him. So K-9 Lina was either trapped inside a hot car for approximately (8) hours or (6).

This is a stock photo of a Ford Crown Victoria ~ not one from MCSO or any agency involved in this case.indianapolis_metropolitan_police_cruiser_1

He parked the patrol car in his driveway at approximately 9 am after which he performed a variety of tasks such as driving in his truck to help a friend fix a lawnmower, pay his water bill, talk on the phone with a family member and other errands. It wasn’t until approximately 2:45 – 3 pm, after greeting his other dog that he realized K9 Lina was quiet in the kennel. That’s when Deputy Cornelison discovered K-9 Lina dead inside the patrol vehicle, one that was NOT equipped with a heat sensor. The outside temperature that day was 91 degrees which means that the interior temperature would have reached  109 degrees within 10 minutes.

Excellent temperature graphs, illustrations, sources and video.

According to Sheriff Phillip Morgan, Deputy Cornelian was in a “state of shock” upon finding K-9 Lina’s lifeless body. Sheriff Morgan also told the media that his deputies had been working 50 hour weeks due to understaffing and were overworked and sleep deprived. Deputy Cornelian was placed on paid leave while neighboring Washington County conducted an investigation.

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Sheriff Morgan

I’ve read Deputy Jonathan Cornelison’s  timeline and as a nurse who has worked more than her share of long 12 -18 shifts with little sleep in between and a single parent of (3) children, I can understand part of it. The following, however, is where any similarities end:

Woke up at 6 a.m. Friday to take his kids to daycare, then responded to a wreck, with Lina in the back seat. Drove straight home, and went back inside at about 9 a.m.

At 9:50 a.m., he got a call to help his friend with a broken lawnmower. Ran errands until 1:40 p.m. and then met a Huntsville officer to review a DWI case. Returned home at about 2:45 p.m. and realized Lina was not in her kennel. Found her deceased in the back of his car.” Source: KHBS *Note It was 90 F the day of K9 Lina’s death

I don’t know where Deputy Cornelian originally hails from but I do know that he has lived in Arkansas for at least (9) years as he’s been employed by the Madison County Sheriff’s Dept. since 2007. That alone tells me he is more than familiar with the hot temperatures in a community whose motto is “Crossroads of the Ozarks”. The median temperature for early September in Huntsville is 80 – 88 F. Anyone should know that is too hot to allow a living animal or human to stay inside a car for more than a very brief time. But an LEO, who is trained to identify dangerous situations (hot cars being one of them) and to still leave his partner inside one is abhorrent. When he returned from the wreck, “with Lina in the back seat. Drove straight home, and went back inside at about 9 a.m.” He should have removed her from the vehicle the same time he removed himself. I do not buy into the overworked, tired, lack of sleep, skeleton crew excuses being offered by both the deputy and Sheriff Morgan; they are merely words being used to justify egregious behavior by a negligent handler. Deputy Cornelian knew it was hot out, as an LEO he inherently knew that hot cars are death traps, yet he still kept K-9 Lina inside a virtual oven while “At 9:50 a.m., he got a call to help his friend with a broken lawnmower. Ran errands until 1:40 p.m. and then met a Huntsville officer to review a DWI case. Returned home at about 2:45 p.m. and realized Lina was not in her kennel.” Source: KHBS

None of his actions during the time frame of nearly (6) hours were those of a man so irrational from overwork and lack of sleep that his behavior can be considered innocent and K-9 Lina’s death merely an “accident” when in reality, it was a death sentence for her. This is blatant animal abuse ~ by cop. Which begs the question; how can we as a society trust an officer who is sworn to protect and serve us when he FAILS to protect the life of his own K9 partner?

On September 23,   Matt Durrett, 4th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney of Washington County,  announced that there was insufficient evidence to support an animal cruelty charge, therefore, Deputy Cornelian would not be charged. I do not concur with Prosecutor Durrett’s decision because criminal charges must be brought against the handler in this case. Otherwise, the negligent homicide of police dogs by human police officers will continue. My only solace is the knowledge and inherent belief that 90% of our law enforcement canine handlers are above reproach. Many would take a bullet for their partner. Once Prosecutor Durrett’s announced  that no charges would be forthcoming, Sheriff Morgan brought final disciplinary action against the deputy on September 26:

Deputy Cornelison will:
1. Be suspended without pay for 60 days.
2. Be removed from the K9 program.
3. Be decertified as a K9 Handler.
4. A letter of reprimand will be placed in his file.

A K9 Officer is a universal dog that can track, guard, catch and protect. A K9 Officer serves his duty just like any human officer. They will protect their handler with their life.

It is disheartening to know that the state of Arkansas takes hot car deaths so lightly. In August 2016, Hon. Wade Navamore , a circuit judge in Hot Springs,  was found innocent in the July 2015 death of his 17-month-old son that he forgot in a hot car for (5) hours while at work.

The courtroom broke out in loud cheers as the verdict was read aloud by Special Judge John Langston. Naramore’s wife, Ashley, ran over to embrace her husband shortly after.

A sad indictment against the values and moral compass of one of America’s southern states.

I’ll leave you with this thought; think about being trapped in a hot car and fighting for every breath you could take until you just couldn’t breathe anymore and took your last one. Very heart wrenching and inexcusable!

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The first to sense the hostility of a suspect,

The first to react to protect his master.

The first to enter where danger lurks.

The first to detect the hidden intruder.

The first to take action against violence.

The first to sense his master’s joy.

The first to know his master’s sorrow or fear.

The first to give his life in defense of his master.

The last to be forgotten by those who work with others like him.

They know him as a “Partner,” not just an animal.

 

 

Next ~ Part 2: The aftermath of K9 Lina’s death