Former NFL linebacker Prince Shembo turned himself in at Gwinnett County jail in Georgia Friday night, after the player was charged with killing his former girlfriend’s dog. The investigation was completed Thursday, and police issued a warrant for the 23 year old’s arrest because of inconsistencies in Shembo’s account of what happened, and because of the investigation results, according to police. The former Atlanta Falcons player was charged with a felony of aggravated cruelty to an animal, with his bond set at $16,700. The dog died from blunt force trauma including a fractured rib, abdominal hemorrhage, head trauma, eye injuries, and extensive bruising in the muscles of his front leg and shoulders according to reports.
Shembo’s ex-girlfriend, Denicia Williams, reported to police on April 19 that her ex-boyfriend had killed her dog, according to Gwinnett County Police. Williams told police she had taken her Yorkie, named Dior, to Shembo’s apartment on April 15. At some point, she left Shembo alone with the dog, and when she found the dog later, the dog was unresponsive. Shembo allegedly told his girlfriend that he kicked the Yorkshire terrier. Williams later broke up with him. Attorney Jerry Froelich told reporters that the 6-foot-2, 254-pound linebacker said he was putting the dog in its cage, and kicked it after it bit his hand. “When you’re a small dog, it doesn’t take much with the size he is”, Froelich said, adding that the dog’s death was accidental.
“We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo”, the team stated Friday. “We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo”. Shembo said he told the Falcons the truth about the incident.
Shembo was a fourth-round draft pick by the Falcons out of Notre Dame in 2014. The team dealt with a similar situation a few years ago when the team’s former star quarterback, Michael Vick, served prison time in 2008 for his role in sponsoring a dogfighting operation.