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Shembo charged in dog’s death, released by Falcons

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The Atlanta Falcons released linebacker Prince Shembo on Friday after he was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with the death of a former girlfriend’s dog.

Shembo, 23, is accused of killing the dog, according to Gwinnett (Ga.) County police. He was not taken into custody as of Friday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

“We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo,” the Falcons said 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.”

A Yorkie named Dior died of blunt force trauma, according to a necropsy report. Denicia Williams had reported to police on April 19 that her former boyfriend killed the dog.

She said she took the Yorkie to Shembo’s apartment and at one point left the dog with him. When she returned, she found the pet unresponsive and took it to an animal hospital, where it died.

The day after the dog’s death, Williams told police that Shembo allegedly made comments about killing the dog.

Veterinarians determined that the dog had a fractured rib, fractured liver, abdominal hemorrhage, thoracic hemorrhage, extensive bruising and hemorrhage in the muscles in her front leg and shoulders, head trauma, hemorrhage and edema in lungs, hemorrhage between the esophagus and trachea, and hemorrhage in the left eye with internal injuries.

Shembo, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Falcons in 2014 from Notre Dame, played in all 16 regular-season games last year and finished his rookie campaign with 59 tackles.

While at Notre Dame, Shembo was arrested for an alleged sexual assault of a Saint Mary’s College student in his dorm room in 2010 but never charged. Lizzy Seeberg, a 19-year-old freshman, died 10 days later by taking an overdose of an antidepressant.


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