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Ex-Cop Fired for Theft, now Charged with Causing Death of K-9, Animal Cruelty

A former Indiana police officer fired in January for theft is now charged with causing the death of a police K-9.

A probable cause affidavit was issued June 6 against former reserve police officer for the Laurel Police Department Clinton M. Ellis, 34, charging him with striking or interfering with a law enforcement animal resulting in serious permanent disfigurement as well as cruelty to an animal.

The Laurel Police Department assigned the dog to Ellis during the summer of 2017.

Six months later, the dog died on January 1.

An initial report stated the dog died of bloat.

But the Department of Natural Resources investigated Blade's death and sent the dog's three-year-old body for a necropsy at Purdue University.

A reported by the DNR showed the dog, named Blade, died from "whole body emaciation" or starvation and "intestinal foreign bodies," the arrest affidavit for Ellis says.

The doctor who wrote the final report noted finding a cloth material in the dog's gut and added that if the cloth caused the dog's death, it would have been an acute situation and killed him quickly.

The amount of emaciation that killed Blade would have taken some time, the Dr. concluded in his report.

During the investigation into Blade's death, a DNR officer who talked to a witness said he personally observed Blade losing as much as 30 pounds in two months between October and December of 2017.

When the officer questioned Ellis, he said he fed Blade regularly and claimed to have attempted calling a vet, but never actually contacted one because the office was closed.

However, the vet had no record of Ellis ever placing a call to his office, according to Fox59.

If convicted on the animal cruelty charges, Ellis faces between six months and two years in prison.

In January, Ellis was fired from the Laurel Police Department after giving another police officer a gun he'd seized while executing a search warrant, but never reported in to evidence.

Detectives discovered Ellis kept the gun in his possession before gifting it to the other officer.

It turned out, the gun was stolen.

Additionally, investigators discovered that in 2016 Ellis received $2,500 from the town of Laurel to be used for conducting drug investigations.

But that money was never used for its intended purpose, and Ellis could not legitimately account for it, a police report said.

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