Former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody was sentenced Thursday to nine months in jail on several charges of animal cruelty in connection to the death of a dog he owned. Prosecutors had accused Cody and his girlfriend of allowing a Canary mastiff to starve to death over the course of about a month at his Reisterstown, Md., home.
In November, Judge Judith C. Ensor of the Baltimore County Circuit Court convicted Cody of nine misdemeanor charges, including aggravated animal cruelty and neglect, illegal possession and neglect of an alligator and possession of marijuana. The 27-year-old former second-round pick, who was released by the Ravens in February 2015 after the allegations of animal cruelty surfaced, could have been sent to jail for over two years, but Ensor said she was not convinced that he intentionally meant to torture the dog.
During Cody’s trial, his defense had argued that he had no intention of killing the dog, pointing out that he brought it to a veterinarian before it died, although that happened too late to save it. On Thursday, defense attorney Joe Murtha claimed that Cody suffered from depression and was not emotionally prepared to have cared for the dog.
“His level of depression is so significant that he’s become just isolated,” said Murtha (via the Baltimore Sun), noting that he had been having trouble getting in contact with his client. Prosecutor Adam Lippe countered by saying, “I’m sure every defendant awaiting sentencing is depressed.”
Cody had spent $8,000 to purchase the mastiff from Spain and import it to the U.S. The dog weighed around 100 pounds at one point, but it was below 50 when it died.
“I can’t explain to you why he decided to kill this animal,” Lippe said (via the Sun). “It makes no sense at all.”
The Ravens drafted Cody, a Florida native who played college ball at Alabama, in 2010 and released him after the 2014 season. During his legal proceedings, he and his girlfriend, who has served a sorted sentence in connection with the case, have been living in Georgia.