Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jethro Killer Gets 45 Years, 34 For Slaying Dog

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 10:22 AM

click to enlarge K9 Jethro
  • K9 Jethro
Twenty-three-year-old Kelontre Barefield, who shot and killed police dog Jethro in a Canton burglary last year, was sentenced to 45 years in prison Wednesday.

Thirty-four years of the sentence were for the incident that resulted in Jethro's death. Eleven additional years were tacked on for four burglaries and an aggravated robbery charge, to which Barefield pleaded guilty. 

Stark County officials were reportedly pleased with the sentencing, happy to get a dangerous repeat offender off the streets. Barefield had served time in 2013 on burglary and vandalism charges. On the flip side, the Canton Repository reported that Barefield was unhappy with his legal representation.

Though he signed a plea deal, Barefield said "he felt his attorneys were there for a paycheck and that he had asked for multiple things that hadn't been provided to him. The courtroom was cleared, and after Barefield spoke privately with his attorneys — who are public defenders — the hearing resumed." 

click to enlarge Kelontre Barefield
  • Kelontre Barefield
One of the reasons Barefield's case was settled before a trial was because his lawyers knew finding a local impartial jury would be difficult, given the media frenzy surrounding Jethro's death.

National outlets picked up the story of the heroic police dog who died in the line of duty (and who also was a companion pet to Canton officer Ryan Davis.) 

“I would trade places with him in a heartbeat,” Davis said when Jethro died. “Absolutely, because I wouldn’t have to sit here and suffer over the loss of him. He’s left a hole that will never be filled. He gave his life for me.”

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Kristen Farmer may have been swayed by the media coverage as well. 

She called Barefield's actions "intolerable" and said that the 45-year-sentence
"reflects not only the seriousness of Jethro's death and the fact that he shot at two officers but also the terror inflicted on victims of the burglaries and aggravated robbery."

Still, six years is the maximum penalty allowed by the state for shooting Jethro. 

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation