Durham man who shot K-9 officer in the face is given probation; police chief, DA defend sentence

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Earlier this week, a man pleaded guilty to shooting and injuring a Durham police K-9, but did not receive jail time for the shooting.

Trey Deshawn Christie, 21, of Durham, was sentenced Monday to supervised probation and will remain in jail on federal gun charges.

In March, police were chasing Christie. Investigators said K-9 Daro was helping officers track Christie, who was wanted in connection with several thefts in the area.

Christie shot K-9 Daro in the face and then took off. Daro suffered injuries to his mouth.

As a part of a plea agreement, some of Christie’s animal cruelty and burglary charges were dropped.

Daro’s handler says he thinks Christie should have received a tougher sentence.

“I literally watched him shoot my dog in the face … and then we rushed K-9 Daro to the hospital,” said Durham police Cpl. Roger Lafferty. “You know it’s always in the back of your head when you deploy the dog, but typically I typically on something like this, you just hope they give up like most of the time they do. If they have a gun, hopefully, they drop it … this time we weren’t that lucky.”

Friday, Durham police and the district attorney sent out a news release that defended the sentence against Christie, who had no previous criminal record.

“This means that an active sentence was legally impossible for the charge of assaulting a law enforcement animal,” a news release from Interim Durham Police Chief Shari Montgomery and Durham District Attorney Satana Deberry said.

Christie was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation. A suspended sentence of six to 17 months in prison could be imposed if he violates his probation.

Also, Christie was ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the owner of some bicycles he stole, participate in an intensive behavior and decision-making program called Cognitive Behavioral Intervention, and comply with the recommendations of a substance use assessment, the news release said. (pdf document)

Neither the Durham Police Department nor the emergency veterinarian who treated Daro asked for restitution.

K-9 Daro is doing well and back at work.

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