There will be no charges filed against a Madison County deputy who forgot about his police dog in the back of his patrol car resulting in the dog’s death on September 9, reports Arkansas Online.
According to a press release on Friday by Prosecuting Attorney for the 4th Judicial District, Matthew Durrett, Deputy Jonathon Cornelison will not be charged in the heat related death of three-year-old Belgian Malinois named Lina.
“…There is insufficient evidence of his intent to support an animal cruelty charge, so we are not filing anything on him.”
Details of the investigation and the events leading up to Lina’s death were made public on Friday stating Cornelison had been working lengthy days because of staff shortages. Records indicate on September 8, Cornelison finished a ten-hour shift at 6 a.m., took his children to daycare and school and then was called in to assist the 4th Judicial Drug Task Force that afternoon. That day he worked until 9:30 p.m. and had been awake for more than 28 hours.
The next day, September 9, was another very long day after taking his children to daycare and school. He was then called in to assist with a vehicular accident involving a known drug dealer. Lina was loaded into the deputy’s vehicle until the search was completed. Documents tracked Cornelison’s actions almost the entire day using a different vehicle, which included police investigative business. According to the deputy, he thought Lina had been taken out of his patrol car and placed in her kennel behind the barn at his home. When Cornelison realized he had not heard Lina barking late that afternoon, he found her dead in the back seat of his police vehicle.
Madison County Sheriff Phillip Morgan had previously described Lina’s death as a “bad accident.” She was the only police dog at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. It is not known when Cornelison will return to work or whether another dog will replace Lina.
Rest in peace Lina. (Photo via Madison County Sheriff’s Office)