Judge Dismisses Two Remaining Counts Against Owner of Dog Shot Dead by Police

The video on this story is the original video uploaded to YouTube showing the incident in Hawthorne (WARNING: Graphic and Disturbing Content)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A judge today dismissed the last two remaining counts against the owner of a Rottweiler that was shot to death by Hawthorne police after the man took photos of a barricade situation nearly two years ago. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lauren Weis Birnstein's ruling came after the defense filed a motion seeking the dismissal of two misdemeanor counts alleging that Leon Rosby obstructed police.

On March 9, jurors acquitted the 53-year-old man of the most serious charge -- a felony count of dissuading a witness. But the panel deadlocked on the misdemeanors, with eight favoring acquittal, according to defense attorney Mark Geragos.

In his motion, Geragos wrote that "a retrial is unlikely to result in a conviction," and that it would "constitute harassment, be a burden to the defendant, and a waste of judicial economy."

"I couldn't be happier," Geragos said after the judge's decision. "It's been a tumultuous and trying experience for the client. He never should have been charged in the first place."

RELATED: Watch the video and read the original story from June 2013 here.

Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder objected to the charges being dismissed.

"I would have liked to have tried the misdemeanors (again), but I have to go along with the judge's decision," she said after the hearing. Rosby made headlines after a graphic video of the June 30, 2013, shooting of his dog, Max, was posted on YouTube, resulting in millions of views.

Rosby had been taking photos at the scene of a barricade situation near 137th Street and Jefferson Avenue when police moved to arrest him because they believed he was interfering with officers.

Apparently acting to protect his owner, Max jumped out of the backseat of Rosby's car and began lunging at the officers, one of whom fired four shots, killing the dog.

Officers seen in the video were placed on desk duty after threats were made against them and their families.

Prosecutors had alleged that Rosby confronted a woman who also videotaped the shooting. The Hawthorne Police Department released that video, saying it showed more of what happened.

Rosby has filed suit against the city and Hawthorne police, alleging civil rights violations and infliction of emotional distress.
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