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Man charged in police dog’s death | Courts


The man who allegedly shot a St. Joseph Police Department K-9 dog last week has been charged with the animal’s death.

Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney Ronald R. Holliday announced Thursday that an additional charge of armed criminal action has been filed against Valdez William McDonald, 24, related to the death of the dog, Max.

The charge alleges that McDonald committed the felony of assault on a police animal by “knowingly causing serious physical injury, resulting in death, to a police animal when that animal was involved in a law enforcement apprehension, and the defendant committed the foregoing felony of assault on a police animal by, with and through the knowing use, assistance and aid of a deadly weapon.”

The dog was shot on the evening of June 30 as St. Joseph police were serving a warrant on McDonald, who was believed to be armed and barricaded inside a house at 5108 Barbra St. Police reported McDonald fired at the dog as he attempted to flee the home.

Max was one of two K-9s working for the police department. According to information on the police department’s website, Max was a German Shepherd from Slovakia born on Sept. 9, 2017.

Max moved to the U.S. in 2018 and joined the St. Joseph Police Department in February 2019. He was partnered with Officer Lucas Winder.

The other K-9 currently working for the police department is named Thazer. Thazer and Max were trained to specialize in tracking, apprehension and narcotics.

McDonald initially had been charged with the felony of domestic assault in the second degree, a Class E felony, in an assault on his mother which sent the woman to the hospital for her injuries.

McDonald’s bond has been denied by the court. The range of punishment for armed criminal action is a minimum of three years to a maximum of 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.



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