Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after his then-girlfriend told police the NFL player killed her dog.
Following the charges, the Falcons released Shembo, writing in a statement, "We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo."
Shembo, 23, allegedly kicked the Yorkie, named "Dior," who later died from "blunt force trauma." The dog suffered a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage and head injuries, according to a news release sent to The Huffington Post from police in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Dior, pictured here, died of "blunt force trauma," the release noted.
(Source: Gwinnett County Police)
Denicia Williams told police in April that she left the dog with Shembo for four days. Upon her return, the dog was "unresponsive" and died soon thereafter, the release said. The next day, Shembo allegedly confessed that he kicked the dog.
The investigation was completed Thursday and the charges were filed Friday, Gwinnett Police Corporal Deon Washington told HuffPost by phone.
Shembo turned himself in Friday night, with bond set at $15,000, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Aggravated animal cruelty carries a penalty of one to five years behind bars, the spokesman said.
Shembo, a former Notre Dame player, was once accused of sexually assaulting a woman who later committed suicide, but he was never charged.
A photo of Prince Shembo (Source: Instagram)