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Tag: three strikes

Life sentence given in killing of police dog

A man who shot and killed a police dog was sentenced to life in prison last week — not so much because he killed a police dog, but because it was his third strike, according to a report in the Seattle Times.

Ronald J. Chenette, convicted six months ago of killing Dakota, a 5-year-old German shepherd owned by the Vancouver Police Department, was sentenced Friday in Clark County Superior Court in Vancouver, Washington — a state where conviction of a third violent crime mandates a life sentence.

The day Dakota was shot, Chenette “got his hands on a couple of beers and a handgun,” court-appointed defense attorney Jeff Barrar said. A friend of Chenette’s called 911 and said Chenette was threatening to kill police. SWAT officers were called out to a wooded area with a steep gully, which would have been difficult for the two-legged officers to navigate. So Dakota went in.

Soon, officers heard a gunshot. Chenette said he fought with Dakota for more than a minute before he fired. He said he thought Dakota was going for his throat and was going to kill him. “All I have to say is, I’m sorry about the dog that got shot,” Chenette said.

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Jackson said the sentence wasn’t “freakish or unfair or unconstitutional” since Chenette’s first two violent crimes were against humans.