Police dog sits next to suspected K-9 killer during court

Suspected K-9 killer in court
Kelontre Barefield (Source: Summit County Sheriff)
Kelontre Barefield (Source: Summit County Sheriff)
Jethro (Source: Police K-9 Association Imagli page)
Jethro (Source: Police K-9 Association Imagli page)

CANTON, OH (WOIO) - The man suspected of killing K-9 Jethro appeared in a Canton courtroom Friday, bound to a wheelchair.

Kelontre Barefield, 25, is accused of shooting the police dog Saturday during a burglary. During his video arraignment, a K-9 was in the room just feet away.

A judge continued the $1.5M bond for Barefield.

Canton police say K-9 Jethro and his handler were called to Fishers Foods on Harrison Avenue around 2 a.m. Saturday. K-9 Jethro entered the dark building first and came across the suspect, who then fired several shots at close range, exchanging gunfire with police.

The police dog was struck multiple times and rushed by ambulance to the emergency veterinary hospital. He died Sunday.

Police shot Barefield in the leg. He spent several days in the hospital and was later taken into custody and charged with aggravated burglary, assaulting a police dog, felonious assault on a police officer, having weapons under disability, shooting on or near a prohibited area or property.

Funeral services were held Thursday for K-9 Jethro.  He's the first of the department's dogs ever killed in the line of duty.

K-9 officers from as far away as Virginia and the New York Police Department attended the service. More than 100 K9s from various departments walked in a five and a half minute long procession in front of those gathered.

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