CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Former Cherokee County Lt. Daniel Peabody pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to charges related to the deaths of two police K9s.
Peabody was taken into custody on Wednesday, June 22, and charged with felony animal cruelty as well as making false statements. He received a $22,400 bond.
During the hearing, Cherokee County Superior Court Judge Jackson Harris clarified to the prosecution the details of an order given to Peabody.
Peabody was seen at Home Depot getting out of a vehicle with a dog. As a condition of his bond, he was ordered not to transport animals but judge Harris clarified that Peabody can be a passenger in a vehicle with a dog but cannot drive that vehicle.
PHOTOS | Officer charged in death of K9s
The Cherokee County Marshal's Office and Cherokee County Sheriff's Office responded to the home of Lt. Peabody, a school resource officer, on June 10.
According to a preliminary investigation, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Inca was left in the officer's patrol unit at about 4:15 p.m.
The officer went into his home to "deal with another dog" inside. Officials said around 7 p.m., the officer remembered Inca was still in the patrol car and found the police canine dead in the rear of the patrol unit.
The second charge of making false statements is linked to the death of another retired K9, Dale.
According to investigators, Peabody took Dale in 2012 when the K9 retired. He originally told police Dale died when he choked on a ball. However, investigators later determined Peabody shot Dale shortly after he retired. Tips about Dale's death came into the sheriff's office after Inca died.
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