Getting Away With Murder

Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Baltimore Cop who Slit Dog's Throat

In June 14th, 2014, police officers Thomas Schmidt and Jeffrey Bolger were dispatched to the 700 block of South Grundy Street in southeast Baltimore to deal with a lost dog. That dog was Nala, a 7 year old Shar Pei.

Baltimore PD Puppycide Victim Nala with her owner Sarah Gossard

Nala with her owner Sarah Gossard

Bolger and Schmidt restrained Nala with a choke pole. While Nala was restrained by Schmidt, Bolger took a knife and slit Nala's throat. The two would later contend, inexplicably, that they had asphyxiated Nala with the choke pole to the point that they were uncertain if the dog was still alive, and that stabbing Nala was an attempt to end the dog's suffering.

Humane Society Guide to Control Pole Use

Both officers were suspended from the Baltimore Police Department, and both officers were charged with a variety of charges: felony aggravatd animal cruely, animal mutilation and malfeasance in office.

Baltimore's Chief Medical Examiner David R. Fowler testified on behalf of Bolger in a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing in favor of the idea that Nala was already dead when she was stabbed. In that motion, attorneys Steven H. Levin and Charles N. Curlett Jr. wrote:

"Agent Bolger could not be certain whether the dog had died or was dying and unconscious after it was removed from the dog pole. Consequently, in the event that it was still alive, Agent Bolger wanted to end its suffering."

The picture of Bolger and Schmidt as concerned animal-lovers is in direct contradictions to witness accounts of the bahvior of the two before, during, and after the killing. Witnesses told investigators that Bolger had this to say as he approached Nala:

"I'm going to f*ing gut this thing"

The criminal cases against Bolger and Schmidt were separated by the District Attorney's office, with ADAs Paul W O'Connor and Rebecca Woods handling the charges against Schmidt. In an inexlicable turn of events, the charges against Thomas Schmidt have been dropped.

Thomas Schmidt criminal charges

The District Attorney's office has refused to explain the rationale for their decision, telling the press only that the Nolle Prosequi was:

"due to developments in the ongoing investigation."

Former Baltimore Police Department Officer Thomas Schmidt mugshot following felony animal cruelty arrest

Thomas Schmidt

Despite his success with an unsurprisingly sympathetic pair of prosecutors, Schmidt is no longer with the Baltimore Police Department. Officially, Schmidt is "retired", but the timing of his resignation conveniently cancels the Internal Affairs investigation that would have inevitably followed from the malfeseance in office charge.

Codefendant Jeffrey Bolger remains in the docket. The Puppycide Database Projec twill continue to update readers on new developments in the case as they arise.

Jeffrey Bolger criminal charges