Anderson police K-9 killer learns sentence

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ANDERSON – A man convicted of shooting and killing an Anderson Police Department K-9 learned his punishment Tuesday.

Joseph Turner was sentenced to 12 years and six more suspended for shooting the dog, Magnum, in August 2012 after robbing a PNC Bank.

Magnum’s handler, Officer Matt Jarrett, delivered an emotional statement in court, recalling the impact Magnum’s death had on him and his family. Jarrett said his partner’s death traumatized him and gave his children nightmares as they worried their father wouldn’t come home from work one day.

Bank teller Carol Anderson took the stand to talk about the surreal moments surrounding the robbery and what it was like when Turner held her at gunpoint.

magnum3

Magnum was shot and killed in August 2012.

Turner spoke to a courtroom filled with police officers, saying, “I’m sorry. I was messed up. I shouldn’t have done what I did.”

He spoke of his service in Iraq and described his struggles with substance abuse. Turner said he was demoted because he’d become addicted to Nyquil. He said he’d sought help at the VA, but was denied. Turner claimed he had troubles with post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. He admitted he was on Xanax, marijuana and tequila during the robbery and shooting.

As a condition of Turner’s plea deal, he must lead investigators to the spot where he hid his weapon. Police have not recovered it, accusing Turner of using it as a “bargaining chip” for a plea deal.

Since it happened, officers have called for a change in the law.

“We want justice served,” said Anderson Police Chief Larry Crenshaw.  “We want awareness that police dogs are police officers.”

Crenshaw and Det. Joel Sandefur both told Fox59 News that the past several months have been difficult for the department.  Two weeks before Magnum’s death, Anderson police lost another K-9 unit during an incident in Pendleton, cutting the city’s K-9 force in half.

“We know what they are. They are a tool. But they also are our friends, our partners, they’re our pets,” Sandefur said.

Sandefur said the dogs cost approximately $15,000 each, one of the reasons Anderson has replaced only one of its two fallen dogs since the summer incidents.  Another reason is the extensive time and training required to forming a functional bond between the officer and the K-9.

“There should be some responsibility on the part of the offender when convicted that they replace that cost to the city,” he said.

A bill in the state House of Representatives would, for the first time, allow police departments to seek restitution for their lost investment in community safety.

51 comments

  • Jeff

    I struggle with this being a news story. The answer is simple: This felon aimed a gun into the face of a “Police Dog” and pulled the trigger. He goes to jail and is either sentenced to death or life without parole! Once the rights of victims are placed where they should be and people are held accountable, maybe justice will be possible.

    • pauline

      a K-9 dog is an officer & am glad people noticed this ,they are raise with families,trained by 1 holder & are 1st in line for duty when they are needed so should be treated as officers because they gice their lives in the line of duty.

  • martinstucky

    He shot an officer as far as I am concerned. He should get the same sentence as the killer of IMPD Officer David Moore. Maybe they could chain him up at the Humane Society and make him pick up the poop with his lips for about a year while he exhausts his appeals. Then shoot him in the head.

      • Kas

        That 'dog' had more training,discipline and loyalty then a schmuck like you could ever hope to have. If I were you.. I would stay under whatever rock you decided to climb out from under and pray that you never need the service of one of our officers..four legged or two.

    • deby

      I agree 100% with you martinstucky. The canine has always been considered part of the force and an officer as well. As far as picking up poop with his lips, I have to withdraw that request. But he should serve prison time just as anyone would for shooting and killing a 'cop'. Magnum-RIP

  • Abathar

    "“We want justice served,” said Anderson Police Chief Larry Crenshaw. “We want awareness that police dogs are police officers.”"

    I don't agree with this. Dogs are not human beings, when a police dog, or any dog for that matter, is biting at you the first thing you do is to strike it to protect yourself. You get charged for striking a police officer, but that K-9 sure doesn't get charged for excessive force when it rips into you though.

      • keikomushi

        Indeed. Your average criminal isn't the smartest person to begin with, otherwise they could understand such a simple concept.

      • commonsense

        Lisa, your reply seems to imply that if you break the law, you can't complain about what happens to you; regardless of if it's excess force to your crime. In that case, I hope law enforcement doesn't run you over for jay walking; steal your car for expired tags; or sterilize you for having a low IQ….oh wait, Indiana actually used to do that. I can see it didn't work out the way they invisioned!

      • Abathar

        If a police dog goes after the wrong person and he defends himself by striking the dog should he be charged as if he was striking a real officer? If that happens now he can be charged if the animal is hurt, even if the person was completely innocent.

    • Matt

      The dog isn't biting you for no reason, if a k9 is biting you, it's because you were warned and didn't listen. Idiot

    • Jamie

      The dog was sent only after the jerk refused to drop the weapon and get on his knees. After he robbed a bank. Howe many crimes can you commit before justice is allowed to act???? I'm sorry that he is a veteran and one of many that the VA and our government are not taking care of. BUT you committed a crime then committed another and another. NOw tell us where the weapon is and serve you time.

    • andrea

      that may be true, but if you weren't committing a crime, the POLICE DOG, who is considered an officer, the do wear badges, wouldn't be ripping into you. also, the k-9 is not dispatched until all other options have been tried. the man was breaking the law, the dog is a law enforcement tool. maybe they should have just shot the guy instead. problem solved.

  • Kathy

    I was always told a K 9 is a Police Officer and if you kill one, you are sentenced to killing a police officer. "suspended sentence" sends the message it's ok to kill a K9 dog. Also, these dogs are not just K9, when they are off duty, they are part of the police officer's family.

  • Think deeper

    I am a law abiding citizen and dog lover. I don't agree with the police stance. That dog may be your friend and pet, but it's main purpose is as a weapon. Function #1 of that animal is to disarm/disable a suspect. This weapon is trained to respond to an officers order only. If the officer is not in line sight when the dog confronts the suspect, it will attack with bodily harm. I cannot say for certain, but if the suspect dropped his weapon, I believe it would still attack – even though any human officer would recognize that the threat to law enforcement and public is contained. Dogs are no more police officers than guns/night sticks/cruisers/etc.

  • Truth

    Wow, people seem to have lost priorities. Yes what happened was very sad. By saying he deserves life or to be attacked? Just has me speechless. A dog is a dog no matter what. The real focus should not be about this dogs death it should be about the woman that was traumatized during the robbery. People need to come before animals. I am saying this and yet I rescue dogs!! I love dogs more than most and take in the abused or unwanted. It is ok to love and be hurt by this but this man does not deserve all these horrible things. He fought for your country, I do not agree with war in the first place but I can see how that may have traumatized him in his own way.

    • Gene

      Yes it traumatized him but in my eyes he killed an officer while committing a felony while high on alcohol and drugs. And/or he vandalized 15000 of city property and cost time and effort spent. Either way I say his sentence is fair.

    • sandy

      You are a poor rescuer. Rescues advocate. Both the woman, the K-9 officer, and everyone involved deserves justice. Animal abuse seldom gets the attention and justice it deserves. Justice for one doesn't negate justice for the others. That is why the criminal can have many different charges brought for committing a crime. Don't scream because the K-9 officer received justice; scream because other victims didn't receive justice. Don't make it an either or situation.

  • Truth

    What I am getting at is the woman was the real victim in all this and that needs to be remembered. Secondly for the police officer to blame the death of his partner on how his children reacted is cowardly to say the least! To be on the force was HIS decision. Even if he couldn't have prepared his children, he knew what the chances were when signing onto the force. In a situation like that he should have been the backbone of his family and comforted them instead of showing his hurt. As a mother, I have dealt with death with pets before and as sad as I may be I will do my best to show love and support and deal with things quietly away from my children.

    • sandy

      This wasn't a death of a pet. Although, K-9 officers live with their handlers they are partners. This isn't about a death of a dog it's about the killing of a K-9 officer. His children are aware that it was their dad's partner that was killed in the line of duty and that brought home the fact it could have just as easily been their dad that was shot.

  • Matt

    Did the dog bite an innocent person? What does this have to do with the fact that some junkie shot and killed a police officer?

      • Gibbs

        I'm sorry – I do believe these dogs wear a badge. They should be seen as police officers. They do the work of men so the men are not the ones in harms way. Maybe they would be better protected if people knew that harming them comes with great consequence.

  • Guest

    18 years with 6 years suspended, but that child predator down the road gets only 2 years and 1 of them is suspended. Its sad about this dog, but our country is messed up when someone who kills an animal gets more time than someone who harms a child

    • guest

      Armed robbery was tne reason for his sentence, he threatened the tellers and customers in the bank at GUNPOINT. This was why he got such a lengthy sentence. Remember that gun was loaded.

  • Billy Emanuel

    Hang in there Matt, my heart goes out to you and your family. The ultimate sacrafise your partner made may have save you another officer or a civilian. Mine are more than a "tool", I feel your pain….

  • Concerned

    You guys all seem to think the dog is the victim in this, yet as Truth and others have stated, the woman and the man behind bars today are the real victims. The dogs are trained for this. and YES they use excessive force and hurt people way to much most of the time anyways, yet nothing happens to them. Any accidents caused by police or their canines, it kept under wraps if at all possible, because they don't want bad public exposure.. (cont'd)

  • Concerned

    But he served our countries overseas for you to have a right to state your own opinion. Have you guys stood up, and served a tour for our country overseas? Most likely, no. Everyone makes a mistake, and most people don't even know the full story. So, How lowly of a person does that make you, to sit and judge a man, a father, a war vet, a citizen, for one mistake he made??

    • sandy

      I'm a veteran, that doesn't excuse his actions. It brings disgrace to all who served honorably. He wasn't given help at the VA so something is probably wrong with his discharge. Could it be less than honorable? He had a loaded gun and used it in the commission of a felony.

    • sandy

      It was a living creature working a job. No emotion involved. The guy is a drug addict. He made his choices in life and deserves the consequences of his long history of poor choices.

  • George Robertson

    First ,If you are not a law enforcement officer don't judge one.
    Second If your not a K-9 officer you have no earthly way of knowing of the bond between a officer,his family and his K-9 and the impact that K-9 had on the DEPT. and the community.
    K-9's are Not Equiptment, as ruled by a new law that is why the military working Dogs are no longer left in foreign countries as equipment,they come home to the U.S. to either work or retire and live out their lives with families.
    Man's best friend, The K-9 / DOG.

  • Jeremy John

    My goodness, I see many comments about how this man should recieve capital punishment for killing a dog. And I agree, I love my dog. If someone shot him I would likely want the same treatment for that person that my dog, my best friend recieved. However I'm saddened when I think about the young man Eric Wells who was killed by an intoxicated IMPD officer. Where is his justice. Why are we sentincing this man to 12 years when we can't even lock up David Bisard. Where are our priorities. What are our those prosocuters and other officials doing about him??

  • Greg Matt

    In other words this P O S got away with Murder. He should be beaten within an inch of his life. It shold not matter whether the Officer is 2 legged or 4, he is carrying a badge and either should be avenged.
    Joseph Turner should have a bounty on his head period. As should anyone that abuses animals , children, women. There should be no leniency. The law is there for all not just one.
    An automatic death sentence is rhe answe…No appeal.

  • James

    this is absolutely ridiculous and disgusting. it's sad that the police dog was killed, but really? 12 years and 6 suspended for killing a dog? that is just stupid. the dog is NOT a police officer, nor is it a human being. how they can call, under law, a police dog an actual police officer is repulsive. yet another person sentenced to a bullshit sentence in jail, wasting our tax dollars and space for real criminals. who wouldn't defend themselves when a dog (TRAINED to fuck up your shit) is ripping into your flesh?

    you people commenting that he should receive the death sentence or paralyzed and beaten to death are disgusting. it's a fucking dog; much of this young man's life is ruined now because he defended himself against a canine trained to attack. yes, he fucked up, yes, it's sad the doggy died (and i love dogs for that matter), but this sentence is repulsive.

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