Lexington police officer will not face charges for killing neighbor's dog

kward1@herald-leader.comMarch 15, 2014 

A Lexington police officer who shot and killed his neighbor's dog will not face criminal charges.

Officer Jeff Brangers and the dog's owner, Brian Geary, met for a few hours Friday morning and reached an agreement, said Rand Marshall, assistant county attorney for Scott County.

Marshall did not discuss the terms of the agreement, other than to say that no charges will be filed against Brangers.

Marshall said the Scott County Attorney's Office facilitated the meeting between the parties.

Brangers shot Geary's 12-year-old black Labrador, Angel, on March 8 as the dog walked away from Brangers' property. Brangers, a Scott County resident, keeps chickens on his property, about 5 miles east of Georgetown.

Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton had said Tuesday that Brangers might be charged with second-degree animal cruelty, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

Geary and a judge would have had to sign a complaint in order for a charge to be filed.

Hampton said conflicting statements attributed to Brangers caused the sheriff's office and the county attorney's office to consider filing a charge.

State law says, "Any livestock owner or his agent, without liability, may kill any dog trespassing on that owner's property and observed in the act of pursuing or wounding his livestock."

Brangers initially told a sheriff's deputy that the dog was in a crouched position and looking at his chickens. But he later said that he shot the dog as it was walking away.

In that instance, if the chickens were not being pursued or wounded, Brangers would not have been within his rights to shoot the dog.

Brangers, 39, joined the Lexington police force in 2012.

Lexington police said Tuesday that it had started an internal inquiry into the dog's shooting. The status of that inquiry is unclear.

Herald-Leader reporter Greg Kocher contributed to this report. Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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