SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJLA/AP) - The lawyer for a Baltimore police officer charged with beating and choking his girlfriend's puppy, and later texting her a photo of the dog's body, says his client will accept a plea agreement.
Alec Eugene Taylor, 28, of Silver Spring, will plead guilty to one count of felony animal cruelty in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Aug. 27, Warren Brown, his Baltimore-based defense attorney said Tuesday.
On Feb. 26, a woman reported that her live-in boyfriend, Taylor, killed Rocko, a 7-month-old Jack Russell terrier. Necropsy results determined the dog's cause of death was "acute hemorrhagic shock," likely due to blood loss from liver damage caused by blunt-force trauma.
Taylor appeared in court briefly Tuesday as the terms of the plea arrangement were set. He left the courthouse flanked by his parents and refused to answer questions. His father did respond to a reporter's question with, "My son was a good police officer." When asked what the allegations said about Taylor, the officer's father said only, "No comment."
Brown said Taylor is remorseful, contending that the 5-year veteran of the department was under a lot of pressure, and took his frustrations out on the dog. Brown said he would ask for probation before judgment for Taylor, which would allow the patrolman's record to be later expunged.
Taylor is currently suspended without pay from the police force. However, his attorney said the 300-pound patrolman planned to resign prior to entering a guilty plea. That action should allow Taylor to collect at least a portion of his taxpayer-funded officer's pension, even if he later pleads guilty to a felony charge.
ABC 7 News contacted the Baltimore Police Department for a statement. A spokesman said he would forward our list of questions to his captain, but the department never responded.
Brown said Taylor's decision to plead guilty was based on the overwhelming evidence against him, including incriminating text messages, texted photos and a damning statement to police.
Brown's now ex-girlfriend, still too nervous to speak publicly, released a statement to ABC 7 News saying:
“Rocko was a part of my family. No amount of jail time or fines could ever bring him back to us or fill the void left in our hearts. I am deeply saddened by the continuous acts of violence being committed against animals especially by those we have been taught to trust. I can only hope and pray that Rocko's death will bring forth awareness of the ongoing animal abuse cases we continue to see. It is now up to the Judge to send a strong message that animal cruelty will no longer go without punishment. It is only then, that my family and friends will begin to come to peace with the loss of Rocko.”