A former Silver Spring resident and former Baltimore City police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing his girlfriend’s puppy in February. Authorities said he texted her a picture of the dog’s lifeless body.
Alec Eugene Taylor, 28, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony, for choking and beating the dog — a 7-month-old Jack Russell terrier named Rocko.
Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 8. Circuit Judge Richard E. Jordan said his “strong inclination” was for Taylor to do time in jail and advised Taylor to plan accordingly.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison and a $5,000 fine, but sentencing guidelines suggest up to three months in jail, said Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors still were considering whether to seek jail time.
It was too early to say whether Taylor’s now ex-girlfriend would speak at the sentencing, Korionoff said.
Taylor, who now lives in Hyattsville, resigned from the Baltimore City police department earlier this month and is preparing to start work as an electrician, his attorney, Warren Brown, told the court.
“There’s certainly remorse,” Brown told reporters after the hearing. “If [Taylor] could turn back the hands of time and do something different, he certainly would.”
Brown also asked the court to delay sentencing so he could seek a psychological evaluation of Taylor.
Brown said afterward that he wanted to dispel the notion that Taylor was a danger to people or animals, but that Taylor would be prepared to start a jail term the same day he was sentenced if that was the court’s decision.
Prosecutors dropped a charge of animal abuse against Taylor as part of his plea agreement.
They outlined the details of the crime when the agreement was presented to the judge.
Taylor sent texts to his girlfriend on the afternoon of Feb. 26, stating that the dog had defecated on the carpet and that he had beaten and likely paralyzed the dog. He also sent the woman a picture of the apparently lifeless animal and said that Rocko was “pretty much dead” and that he was going to throw him out, Assistant State’s Attorney Bryan Roslund told the court.
When the girlfriend came home later, she found the dog in a shoebox on the couple’s balcony. She and a friend buried the animal in a park in Hyattsville, Roslund said.
The girlfriend, confused about the situation, contacted police two days later and the dog was exhumed, Roslund said.
A necropsy found that the dog died of acute hemorrhagic shock due to liver damage cause by blunt force trauma. Taylor admitted to using a mop to force the dog out from behind a dryer, then choking it for two minutes, Roslund said.