MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida police officer has avoided conviction in the death of his K-9 partner.

Florida Today reports that Brevard County Judge Kelly Ingram dismissed a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge against Sebastian police officer Eric Antosia on Thursday before a jury could render a verdict, ending a three-day trial.

Ingram ruled in agreement with the defense that the state could not prove where, when or why the dog, Diesel, died while in Antosia’s care.

Officials say Antosia left Diesel in his patrol vehicle while visiting a courthouse in neighboring Indian River County in April 2017 on a day when temperatures rose to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius). He later found the dog dead after returning home.

Antosia remains on road patrol with the Sebastian Police Department but hasn’t resumed his role as a K-9 officer.


Information from: Florida Today (Melbourne, Fla.),