Terrence Cody was found guilty of neglect in a disturbing case of animal cruelty. Although the former Ravens nose tackle avoided two felony counts, he was found guilty on nine misdemeanor charges. He is now facing a hefty fine and more than one year in jail.
As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the athlete is accused of abusing and neglecting his pets, which include an alligator and dog.
In January, Cody and his girlfriend, Kourtney J. Kelly, took their Canary mastiff to the Main Street Veterinary Hospital for medical care. According to reports, Taz was so emaciated the veterinarian thought the dog was already dead.
Although he survived several hours, the staff at the Reisterstown animal hospital were unable to spare the dog’s life. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore later determined “Taz died of starvation and had likely been neglected for at least four weeks.”
Canary mastiffs are large dogs, which generally weigh between 100 and 150 pounds. Although he was fully grown, Taz weighed fewer than 50 pounds when he arrived at the Main Street Veterinary Hospital.
Warning: graphic photo shown in court where Former Ravens player Terrence Cody is on trial, animal abuse charges pic.twitter.com/CsHWZGTpfq
— Kathleen Cairns (@CairnsKcairns) November 13, 2015
Baltimore County Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Lippe said is Terrence Cody is guilty of neglect, as he literally “let this dog starve over more than four weeks.” According to reports, the dog was not fed by Cody or Kelly — and resorted to eating garbage in the weeks leading up to his death.
— Pibble Life (@Pibble_Life) November 18, 2015
Attorney Joe Murtha, who represented Cody in court, said his client paid $8,000 for the purchase of his dog and his transport to the United States from Spain.
Although Murtha admits his client neglected his pets to some degree, he said Cody did not intentionally abuse either of the pets or directly cause his dog’s death.
“If your intent is to kill the dog and to torture the dog, you’re not going to bring it to the vet on the last day of its life.”
As reported by ESPN, Kelly contends it was not her responsibility to feed Taz. However, she was also found guilty on five counts of misdemeanor neglect.
According to court documents, Cody is also accused of neglecting his pet alligator — which was in his possession between December, 2014, and January, 2015.
WBAL 11 reports the former nose tackle “failed to provide the alligator with sufficient food and drink, access to necessary veterinary care, and proper space and shelter.”
As pet alligators are not allowed in the state of Maryland, Cody was charged with importing and possessing an alligator. He was further charged with abusing and neglecting the reptile.
In addition to the charges of abuse and neglect related to his Canary mastiff, Terrence Cody was found guilty of neglecting his alligator.
Amid the investigation into the charges of animal cruelty, authorities recovered 10 grams of marijuana and several pieces of drug paraphernalia from the former football player’s home.
Cody was subsequently charged and found guilty of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Amid the allegations of animal cruelty and drug possession, Terrence Cody was released from his position with the Baltimore Ravens. Although a team spokesman acknowledged that he was “aware” of the criminal charges, the Ravens did not cite a specific reason for Cody’s dismissal.
A native of Fort Meyers, Florida, he attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College — where he played on the Bulldogs football team.
During his time with the community college, he was honored as NJCAA All-American and MACJC Southern Division MVP. As reported by SEC Sports Fan, he was also named “the number one college player in Mississippi.”
In 2008, he transferred to Alabama, where he became a key player in the Crimson Tide defensive line and earned the nickname “Mount Cody.” Two years later, he was signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens.
Although he had an impressive career with the Ravens, he was released on January 23, 2015 — less than one year after re-signing with the team. It is unclear why he was released from the Ravens. However, his dismissal followed news of his arrest.
Although Terrence Cody was found guilty of neglect, the former football player vehemently denies the charges.
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