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Ex-Ravens DT Terrence Cody hires lawyer Joe Murtha; arraignment on animal cruelty canceled

Former Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody has hired Towson attorney Joe Murtha, and his arraignment scheduled for Monday on felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor drug charges has been canceled, according to Baltimore County assistant state's attorney Adam Lippe.

Lippe indicated that the cancelation of the arraignment is procedural now that Cody has hired a lawyer. A formal court date will be assigned later.

The two felony counts of animal cruelty are punishable by a maximum of three years in prison per count and fines up to $5,000.

 Cody’s wife, Kourtney Jammese Kelley, is facing the same 15 criminal charges in Baltimore County as her husband. She was indicted and issued a summons this month, according to court records.

Cody was arrested in February after being indicted for torturing and causing the death of his bullmastiff, according to a Baltimore County grand jury indictment.

A copy of the indictment, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, says Cody "did inflict unnecessary suffering or pain of an animal," did "intentionally cruelly kill an animal" and "did intentionally torture an animal."

The dog that died was a Spanish bullmastiff that cost Cody $8,000, according to his agent, Peter Schaffer.

The Ravens released Cody when he was indicted.

According to the indictment, Cody didn't provide the dog "with nutritious food in [sufficient] quantity," didn't provide the dog with "proper drink," and didn't provide "proper space" and "necessary veterinary care."

Schaffer told The Sun when Cody was indicted that Cody loved the dog, is extremely distraught about its death and took it to the veterinarian for medical care. Schaffer added that Cody has two other dogs in good condition that were left in his care.

“This is all a result of the NFL allowing players to be convicted before they’re tried,” Schaffer said. “If Terrence wasn’t a public figure, they wouldn’t have ever charged him. It’s just ridiculous.

“If he was treating the dog so poorly, why would he take it to the veterinarian? They are trying to say he wanted the dog dead, which makes no sense because he loved the dog.”

According to the indictment, Cody also illegally imported into Maryland a live alligator. That's a misdemeanor, punishable with a $1,000 fine.

He failed to provide the alligator with "nutritious food," "necessary veterinary care," and "proper space, proper shelter and proper drink," the indictment said.

Cody also faces two misdemeanor drug charges. He was charged with possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, which included a gas mask with smoking attachment, three glass smoking pipes and a long green smoking device. That's punishable with a maximum fine of $500.

The indictment also said Cody possessed at least 10 grams of marijuana.  That's a misdemeanor punishable with incarceration up to one year and fines up to $1,000.

awilson@baltsun.com

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