A 19-year-old man who shot Sheriff Jacksonville’s K-9 office, named Fang two years ago, faces up to 35 years in prison when a judge orders him next week.
The Florida Times-Union reported that Jamal Malik Paskill’s defense attorney requested during a two-hour hearing from Circuit Judge Gilbert Feltel, Jr. leniency.
Pascal offered an apology, saying he stands in court as “a man willing to take responsibility” for the mistakes he made as a child.
“I would like to offer my apologies and condolences to Officer Herrera for not only killing his partner in K-9 Fang, but his close friend,” said Pascale. “I want to apologize to the victims for frightening them that night. I owe my mother the greatest apology for failing her.”
Court records showed that Pascale pleaded guilty to the murder of a police dog named Fang, along with possession of a pistol by a delinquent and an aggravated escape. He also pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery and kidnapping of two women that preceded a high-speed chase and dog death.
Officer Matt Herrera described the chase 120 mph down Interstate 10 and how he released the dog to stop Pascal as the young man fled. Herrera said he heard his 3-year-old dog screaming after the first shot, before seeing Fang lifeless with injuries to the head and chest.
“He is still a member of my family and it wasn’t just sad for me,” the officer said. “My wife, children and my father … would go back to see the empty doghouse in the backyard and know that there was no dog there, and see blood stains in the truck that I had to clean after he was killed.”
Pascal’s mother told the judge about her son’s learning disabilities, drug problems, and her ongoing efforts to help him.
Assistant Attorney General L.E. Hutton ran seven minutes of intense traffic on police radio that included shooting Fang. Hutton said Pascal killed Fang “in cold blood.”
Pascal’s defense attorney argued for a 15-year prison sentence with probation later. But a plea agreement could give him 30 years for burglary, kidnapping and another five years for dog death. The agreement allows court review for 20 years if Paskel shows good behavior.