POLICE

Utah man sentenced in shooting of police K-9 Dingo

Aug 27, 2019, 9:14 AM | Updated: 11:19 am
K-9 Dingo with Chad Reyes...
Dingo, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinois with the Unified Police Department, was shot and killed early Thursday while helping U.S. Marshals take a wanted fugitive into custody. (Photo: Unified Police Department)
(Photo: Unified Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — Torey Massey, 31, from West Jordan has been sentenced to 11 years to life in the killing of police K-9 Dingo last year.

Massey was found guilty in April after a nearly two-hour deliberation by a jury. He was convicted of two counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, two counts of failing to stop at an officer’s command and killing a police service animal.

Deputy Chief Chad Reyes, Dingo’s handler, told the court this week that nothing in his career in law enforcement compares to the trauma he experienced losing his K-9 partner.

“I’ve witnessed many traumatic incidents throughout my 21 years as a cop and 10 years in the military, but nothing else even remotely compares to trauma inflicted upon me and my children by Torey Massey,” Reyes said.

Feelings of rage, guilt, depression and extreme grief “are forever burned into my being now,” he said.

Dingo and Reyes were part of a group of officers searching for Torey Massey in 2017.  Massey was wanted for theft, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Reyes and his dog, Dingo, were placed on the outside of the search grid to contain the area.  Officers saw Massey driving in Millcreek shortly after 1 am on July 6th and used spike strips to flatten his tires.

After his car was incapacitated, Massey reportedly jumped out and ran away.

Reyes says that’s when he gave Dingo the command to go after Massey.

“Dingo acknowledged my command by placing his paw on my shoulder, basically saying, ‘I’ve got that guy,’” Reyes told KSL.

As Dingo tracked and brought down Massey, Reyes believes the suspect and the dog rolled down a steep embankment. Then he heard multiple gunshots.  When he arrived at Dingo’s side, Reyes says the dog was spinning in pain and gasping for breath.

“Dingo was coming to me for comfort and help.  I couldn’t direct my attention to him immediately because I was concerned for my own safety,” Reyes testified.

Reyes and prosecutors urged the judge to order consecutive prison sentences. They argue Massey has a history of committing violent crimes and no capacity for empathy.

Massey issued a brief apology on Monday to Reyes, saying, “I took his friend, his partner. He may not forgive me but I hope one day he does.”

Massey’s defense attorney, Charles Correy, said that his client has schizophrenia and at the time of Dingo’s death he was not taking his medications and was using drugs.

Lead Prosecutor Andrew Deesing spoke with KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic about the case and the sentencing on Tuesday’s show. You can hear that conversation below.

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Utah man sentenced in shooting of police K-9 Dingo