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Man who shot police dog Jethro gets 45 years in prison

Kelontre D. Barefield, 23, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to charges related to police dog Jethro death and to other charges stemming from four earlier burglaries and an unrelated aggravated robbery.

The man who fatally shot Canton police dog Jethro has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Kelontre D. Barefield, 23, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to charges related to Jethro’s death and several other counts stemming from four earlier burglaries and an unrelated aggravated robbery.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Kristin G. Farmer called Barefield’s actions “intolerable” and said they violated “the safety and security of this county and the people sworn to protect it” as she sentenced him to a combined 45-year prison term that covers both pending cases.

In January, Barefield broke into the Fishers Foods on Harrison Avenue SW; shot Jethro three times and exchanged gunfire with two officers, during which he was shot in the ankle. The police dog died the following day.

It initially appeared the plea deal might not go through, as Barefield on Wednesday told Farmer he was dissatisfied with his legal representation while confirming that he’d signed the plea agreement.

He said he felt his attorneys were there for a paycheck; and that he had asked for multiple things that hadn’t been provided to him.
The courtroom was cleared, and after Barefield spoke privately with his attorneys — who are public defenders — the hearing resumed.

Stark County Prosecutor John D. Ferrero, who took the unusual step of sitting in with prosecutors during Wednesday’s hearing; said his office was satisfied with the 45-year sentence and that avoiding a trial means keeping victims from what could be a traumatic experience.

“We feel we got a very dangerous criminal off the streets,” he said.

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