Prince Shembo turned himself in on Friday after Gwinnett County police obtained a felony warrant for the NFL player’s arrest. His girlfriendÂ Denicia Williams, 20, called the police on him after he kicked her dog to death. Now, Shembo is claiming that he kicked the dog in self defense.
That excuse might hold up in court if it was a pit bull that attacked him, but the dog Shembo killed was a Yorkie.Â His attorney, Jerry Froelich, said the linebacker was bit in the hand by Williams’ dog, a Yorkie named Dior, when he was putting it in a cage and he kicked the defenseless animal as a reflex.
Froelich told reporters outside of Gwinnett County jail his client was crying after what happened.
According to Froelich, “He got bit and he made a mistake and kicked the dog.Â Â He didn’t mean to kill the dog. He’s disappointed. It’s devastating to him. When I first met him he was in tears.”
Dior suffered numerous injuries – including a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, head trauma and a hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries – but Froelich would not comment about the number of times the dog was kicked.
The Falcons did the right thing and waived Shembo.Â The organization said: ‘We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo.Â We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this.Â Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo.”
Shembo’s lawyer thinks that the reason Prince was cut so quickly was because of what happened with Michael Vick. He was also a Falcons player who served time in Federal prison after it was discovered that Vick brutally tortured and killed dogs as part of an underground dog fighting ring.
The aggravated cruelty charge carries a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum sentence of five years, as well as a fine of up to $15,000.
This isn’t the first time Shembo has been in trouble with the law.Â The second-year playerÂ was investigated for allegedly sexually assaulting a Saint Mary’s College freshman in his dorm room in 2010 while he was playing linebacker for Notre Dame.
The alleged victim killed herself ten days later by overdosing onÂ antidepressants, but Shembo was never charged.