LUMBERTON — A Pembroke woman this week pled guilty to shooting a police dog, but will not spend any time in jail.
Marletta Locklear, of Garden Street in Pembroke, admitted guilt to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge on Tuesday, according to court documents. The charge will be dismissed if she completes six months of unsupervised probation. Locklear, who has no previous criminal record, will have to pay $200 in court costs.
Locklear, 46, works as a dispatcher for the Pembroke Police Department.
The Pembroke police dog, Payne, died Nov. 28, 10 days after the Labrador retriever was shot when partner Jason Hunt stopped on Union Chapel Road for the dog to walk. There was testimony in court suggesting the dog may not have died from the wounds he suffered when he was shot.
Former Police Chief Grant Florita said at the time that it appeared Payne picked up a scent and ran toward Garden Street. Hunt then heard several gunshots before Payne came back limping, with wounds on one leg and his ribs.
Payne underwent surgery and returned home and appeared to be on his way to a recovery. But there were complications and he died later and was buried Dec. 1 with full honors.
Locklear reportedly believe he was a stray. She is still an employee in good standing with the town of Pembroke, Town Attorney Gary Locklear said Wednesday. She was suspended from the department for three days without pay shortly after the shooting, Town Manager Tyler Thomas said.
“She is still an employee of the town,” Gary Locklear said. “That is not a final conviction. If she abides by the terms for six months, it goes away.”
Gary Locklear said the unsupervised probation includes community service at the Robeson County Animal Shelter.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly