A Miami-Dade judge has decided to drop the felony charge facing a former cop who is on trial for killing his K-9 companion.
Allen Cockfield faced prison time if convicted of killing a police dog, which is a third degree felony. Cockfield, a 25-year veteran of the Miami-Dade police force, is accused of choking and then kicking Duke the K-9 repeatedly during an obedience training session in 2006.
The two had been partners for six months before the incident happened.
Circuit Judge Antonio Arzola ruled Cockfield didn't intend to kill Duke, despite his violent actions. The former cop still faces animal cruelty charges, which are a misdemeanor and come with possible jail time and a fine.
Testimony from a dog trainer who was present during the incident described the violent nature of Cockfield's actions by kicking the jury box several times loudly to demonstrate the intensity of the blows.
Duke died after repeatedly being kicked in the ribs, which likely caused his heart to skip a beat and resulted in the dog having a seizure.
On Wednesday, another former colleague of Cockfield told the jury he "hated" his four-legged partner.
"He said he was very difficult to control. He said he was having difficulty training him, that he disliked him and that he hated his dog," Bridget Sanchez said.
The trial continues Thursday.