Charges dismissed against officer on trial for K-9’s death

Charges were dropped Thursday against a Sebastian police officer on trial for the death of his K-9 partner.

Eric Antosia was charged with animal cruelty after his police K-9, named Diesel, was found dead in the back of his patrol car.

The charges were dropped on the third day of Antosia’s trial in the case. The judge cited a lack of evidence in the case.

Investigators said Antosia was working in the Viera courthouse in April 2017 when he left the dog in the back of the car.

The high temperature was 88 degrees that day and it wasn’t until Antosia got home that he discovered the dog dead of heatstroke and called 911.

The defense argued Thursday that there was no evidence of a crime, or of what happened to the K-9 officer leading up to the animal’s death.

Antosia’s attorneys were also expected to explain how the vehicle’s protection system, which was supposed to sound an alarm when the temperature got too high, wasn’t working.

Antosia was initially placed on administrative leave while the incident was investigated but eventually returned to work.

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