19-year-old man sentenced to 25 years on charges including shooting, killing Florida K-9
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 19-year-old man who fatally shot a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office K-9 named Fang two years ago will spend the next 25 years in prison.
Jhamel Malik Paskel was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for killing a police dog, and 20 years in prison for other charges including armed carjacking and kidnapping, First Coast News reported. He will also serve 10 years of probation.
Last week, the defense attorney for Paskel had asked the judge for leniency as he faced up to 35 years behind bars.
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Paskel apologized, saying he was "a man ready to take responsibility” for mistakes he made as a child. He was 17 years old at the time, but was charged as an adult.
“I would like to offer my apologies and condolences to Officer Herrera for not only the killing of his K-9 partner Fang, but his best friend,” Paskel said last week. “I want to apologize to the victims for scaring them that night. And I owe my mother the biggest apology for letting her down.”
Paskel pleaded guilty in December to killing the police dog named Fang, along with possession of a gun by a juvenile delinquent and aggravated fleeing, according to court records show. He also pleaded guilty to charges of the armed robbery and kidnapping of two women that preceded a high-speed chase and the dog’s death.
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Officer Matt Herrera described a 120-mph chase down Interstate 10 and how he released the dog to stop Paskel when the young man ran away. Herrera said he heard his 3-year-old dog yelp after the first shot, before seeing Fang lifeless with head and chest wounds.
“He’s still a member of my family and it wasn’t just sad for me” or the department, the officer said. “It was my wife, kids and parents ... to go back and see that empty kennel in the backyard and know that there is no dog there, and to see the bloodstains in the truck that I had to clean up after he was killed.”
Paskel's mother told the judge about her son's learning disabilities, drug problems and her continuing efforts to help him.
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Assistant State Attorney L.E. Hutton played seven minutes of intense police radio traffic that included the shooting of Fang. Hutton said Paskel killed Fang “in cold blood.”
Paskel’s defense attorney had argued for a 15-year sentence with probation to follow.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.