WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) — Criminal charges are now filed against a Fort Wayne man who police say caused the death of Whitley County K9 “Cas” in July.
ABC21 previously reported that K-9 Officer “Cas” died after a vehicle crashed into the patrol vehicle the animal was riding in. The vehicle burst into flames and officers were unable to get the K9 out of the Dodge Charger in time.
The driver, Clarence Shearer, was arrested and faces multiple charges in Marshall County. Now, charges have been filed in Whitley County.
The charges include unlawful possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, operating a vehicle with a controlled substance causing the death of a law enforcement animal, resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness.
Court records indicate Shearer had THC and fentanyl in his system when on July 10th he led police officers on a high speed chase through parts of three counties, before officers say Shearer veered to miss stop sticks in the road in Whitley County and slammed into sheriff’s deputy Gary Archbold’s fully-marked police vehicle, causing it to catch fire.
Court papers say the fire burned so hot that it was causing ammunition in the trunk to explode.
The prosecutor in the case waited two months for blood test results.
“To make sure that I had a solid case, and once I felt confident in what the scientists were telling me, I felt comfortable moving forward,” said Whitley County Prosecutor D.J. Sigler.
ABC21 previously reported that Shearer has a lengthy criminal record. Those records show Shearer has a long list of arrests and convictions.
He is also charged in Allen County with stealing a wireless mobile device from an Indiana State Trooper.
Sigler will seek to have Shearer deemed a habitual offender.
If he’s convicted on all counts, he could get up to 32 years behind bars, and that’s just charges he faces in Whitley County.
A memorial service took place in July for K9 Cas. During the memorial, bagpipes played, a 21-gun salute sounded off and Taps were played by a police bugler. At the church, dozens of officers with their K9s paraded past a flag draped casket.
“The drive of a K9 is unmatched, I have witnessed this and I have lived it. To have a partner that will never call in sick, never complain about how hot or how cold it is outside, a partner who will run to the car just to go to work,” said Jason Spencer, the chief deputy for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.