Two of the three counts of an indictment were thrown out against a former Cherokee County schools officer in connection with the death of a police dog that was in his care, according to a Jan. 18 ruling in Cherokee Superior Court.
Both counts had charged Daniel Peabody with aggravated cruelty to animals regarding the June death of Inka, who was left in Peabody’s hot patrol car.
The ruling by Judge Jackson Harris let stand the remaining count, which charges Peabody with making a false statement during the investigation into Inka’s death.
Harris agreed with a motion by Peabody’s attorneys that Peabody had the right to be present with counsel during the prosecution’s presentation of evidence to the grand jury.
Also, the judge ruled that Peabody had the right to make a statement at the conclusion of the presentation without being subject to direct or cross examination.
In June, Peabody allegedly left Inka, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, inside a patrol car for nearly three hours, the Cherokee marshal’s office said. When Peabody returned to the car, the dog was dead. A necropsy determined the dog died from heat stroke.
Peabody’s patrol car was not equipped to transport dogs, Maj. Jamie Gianfala previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Peabody was arrested and later resigned from his position with the school system.