Ex-Raven Terrence Cody convicted of misdemeanors in animal abuse case

Former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Terrence Cody was convicted Monday of nine misdemeanors in a case involving the death of a dog he owned.

Judge Judith C. Ensor of the Baltimore County Circuit Court convicted Cody of charges including aggravated animal cruelty and neglect, illegal possession and neglect of an alligator and possession of marijuana.

Prosecutors argued that Cody and his girlfriend, Kourtney J. Kelley, had neglected the dog, a Canary mastiff, until it starved to death over the course of about a month.

Cody, 27, could face up to three years in jail but did avoid conviction on two felony charges.

Cody was released by the team in February.

"At the end of the story, this case was always about respect for animals and that you don't get a free pass for killing your own dog," Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney Adam Lippe said to television station WBAL.

"The science is that a dog will take time to starve just like a person. He let this dog starve over more than four weeks, and there was no excuse for it. In the end, that dog was eating trash and eating bones to survive."

In February, Cody turned himself in when a warrant was issued and posted $10,000 bail. An investigation was started after Cody took his dog to a veterinarian for treatment and the dog subsequently died.

Prosecutors pointed that the dog, who once weighed at least 100 pounds, was under 50 pounds at the time of its death. An attorney for Kelley claimed that she had no responsibility to take care of the dog, but Ensor convicted her of five misdemeanors.

Cody, a 2010 second-round pick, was nearing the end of a one-year deal with the Ravens and would have been an unrestricted free agent on March 10. The Ravens announced their intention to release him on Jan. 23. Cody wasn't expected to be re-signed as a free agent. He hasn't received a tryout since being cut by the Ravens.

Information from ESPN.com Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley was used in this report.