Geneva officer pleads guilty to killing K9 officer

Published: Oct. 9, 2012 at 9:28 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2012 at 9:28 PM CDT
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GENEVA, AL (WSFA) - A former Geneva Police Officer is now a convicted criminal. Tuesday, Joshua Waller pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and guilty to perjury. Both are misdemeanor charges, but officials say it should prevent him from ever wearing a badge again.

"It's almost impossible for him to get any kind of law enforcement job with a perjury conviction." stated Geneva County District Attorney Kirke Adams. "Basically, you are saying he lied under oath before and who would trust that kind of person to make cases in their town. It's very difficult for him to get his certificate back. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen, as well as, the other law enforcement officers in this community."

Police say Waller killed the K9 officer, Sassy. They believe it was unintentional, but say the former officer lied about it and even pointed fingers at others.

In fact, we interviewed Officer Waller when Sassy first went missing and an emotional Waller told us he believed someone stole her.

But according to police what really happened was after working overnight, Waller went home with Sassy and accidentally left her in the car on a hot day.

Now, the perjury charge comes from a completely separate case.

We're told Waller was at a custody hearing and was asked about Sassy and he denied any knowledge on the death of his dog or that he had anything to do with it.

"Officer Waller loved law enforcement, he really did." said Geneva Police Chief Frankie Lindsey. "If it happens to where he can't serve as a police officer because of this, it's probably going to be one of the worst things that could happen to him."

Lindsey went on by saying, "It kinda hurts you when you lose one like this, in a situation like this, but I want the people of Geneva to know, I'm not going to hide anything from them here in Geneva. If I got a police officer that's doing something wrong, he will be punished. That's just the way it is."

Waller entered a blind plea, which means the sentencing will be up to the judge. That hearing will be held on November 2. He could face up to 1 year for each charge.

Part of the plea deal also includes Waller paying the city $7,500 in restitution.

Waller's attorney denied our request for a comment.

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