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LAUREL, Ind. – Police officers are responsible for protecting the people in their community, and the lucky ones have help in the form of a police dog, also known as a K-9.

Those K-9s are specially bred and trained, costing thousands of dollars. But one K-9 handler in Indiana is now charged in the death of his dog.

Clint Ellis was a reserve officer with Laurel Police Department, but they said he is no longer with the department. But, this isn’t the first police department he has been let go from, nor are these the first charges against him this year. Franklin County’s chief deputy prosecutor said when law enforcement went to arrest Ellis for the charges in the death of his dog, Ellis was already in court for a prior charge. 

Ellis has been on both sides of the law — as law enforcement and now as the accused. He was recently charged with a felony and misdemeanor in the death of his police K-9 named Blade.

“The probable cause affidavit kind of speaks for itself,” said Chris Huerkamp, chief deputy prosecutor for Franklin County.

Huerkamp shared the probable cause affidavit with I-Team 8. According to those documents, friends of Ellis saw Blade lying in his own waste dead in his cage on New Year’s Day. Those friends also say the dog lost a significant amount of weight since Ellis got the dog in August.

In January, Laurel police posted on Facebook the dog got sick while in his handler’s care and died. That post was later deleted.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources investigated and sent Blade’s body to Purdue University for a necropsy. The necropsy said he died from an intestinal foreign body and emaciation. 

Rumors about Blade’s death have been swirling around Franklin County since January. 

“This is a very small community and, because of that, there is even more an implicit trust that is given to police officers here than in some other communities, and if there is an accusation that that trust is being violated, it cuts pretty deep,” said Jud McMillin, a defense attorney in Franklin County. “I wasn’t necessarily surprised to find us where we are now.” 

But, this was not the first time the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against Ellis.

In February, he was charged with two counts of theft and a count of official misconduct.

Then in May, hunter harassment.

The Laurel Police Department was Ellis’ third stop as a cop. He also worked for Liberty Police Department and was let go in summer 2011, but the department could not tell us why.

After that, he went to Carthage Police Department, but it could not keep him on because he was kicked out of the police academy for unauthorized computer use.

But still, after being let go from two departments and the academy, Laurel Police hired Ellis.

We went to the Laurel Police Department to ask about their hiring of Ellis and entrusting him with a K-9, but no was one there and no one returned our calls. 

LAUREL, Ind. (WISH) — A former law-enforcement officer in this small, east central Indiana town faces theft and official misconduct charges in relation to two thefts he committed while with the Laurel Police Department, authorities said.

Clinton M. Ellis, 34, was arrested and jailed Tuesday on a warrant issued Monday, Indiana State Police said in a news release.

On Jan. 24, the Laurel Town Marshal Brad Spurlock contacted the Indiana State Police after another Laurel reserve police officer, Joey Ailes, received a stolen handgun as a gift from Ellis in December, according to state police and court documents. The investigation found that Ellis seized four handguns, including the one given as a gift, while executing a search warrant Nov. 15 against Wilbur Branum, but Ellis had never submitted the gun into the department’s evidence storage. Ellis allegedly kept the gun in his possession until he gave the gun to the other officer as a gift.

The investigation also found that Ellis had obtained $2,500 from the town government in November to conduct drug investigations, but the money was never used for its intended purpose and Ellis could not account for it.

The investigation led the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office to issue the warrant on two charges of theft and a count of official misconduct, all felonies. The misconduct charge was made because the thefts occurred while Ellis was employed as a Laurel Police Department reserve officer.

No initial hearing had yet been scheduled for Ellis, according to online records for Franklin Circuit Court in Brookville. According to state police and court documents, Ellis was placed in the Franklin County Jail with a $5,000 bail set.

Ellis’s case was transferred Wednesday to the court of Judge J. Steven Cox in Franklin Circuit Court.

Laurel is a town of 500 people about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – An east-central Indiana man who was a suspect in Wednesday morning’s shooting in Jefferson Township has died.

The Montgomery County coroner identified the suspect as 35-year-old David Hurley from Laurel, Indiana. That’s in Franklin County.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said Hurley planned to shoot his wife outside a house in Jefferson Township. The shooting happened outside a house in the 5600 block of Germantown Pike near the intersection of Shank Road just before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office said the man hid in a shed near the house.

When his wife was dropped off at the home to pick up her car, the man came out of the shed and started shooting.

In a 911 call, a woman told dispatchers that a man from Indiana had shot a woman in front of a house. The 911 caller said the man walked around outside, reloaded his weapon and later shot himself in the head.

The 27-year-old woman was shot twice. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was listed as stable. Authorities said she was expected to recover.

After the shooting, the man tried to jump in the back of a pickup that was driving away. The driver of that truck sped off, throwing the suspect from the bed of the truck.

The owner of the house approached the suspect with a shotgun. At that point, the suspect shot himself in the head, killing himself.

Authorities say the suspect and victim were married, but currently separated. The woman was reportedly in the process of obtaining a protection order against the man. The couple was reportedly going through a divorce.

The woman reportedly lived somewhere in Dayton, Ohio.

The owner of the house where the shooting happened was allowing the woman to keep her car there, according to authorities. The homeowner and the woman were not related.

PENDLETON, Ind. (WISH) — A woman missing from since 1974 has been found living in Texas.

Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller left home in Laurel, Indiana shortly after giving birth to her third child over forty years ago. 28-years-old at the time, police said she felt she was too young to be a mother and signed her children over to her parents. She was never seen again by her family.

Detective Sergeant Scott Jarvis took the case in January 2014. The Doe Network, a website that assists families with missing person’s investigations, said they had been in contact with Lula Gillespie-Miller’s family. The family had told the site the last contact they had with Lula was a letter they received from her was in 1975.

Jarvis investigated multiple angles of the case, but he eventually discovered the trail of a woman similar to Lula Gillespie-Miller, who had lived in Tennessee in the 80’s and then later in Texas. He then found a woman living in a small town in south Texas since the 90’s, possibly still living under an alias.

On Thursday, Jarvis contacted Texas Rangers who found the woman. She admitted to the Rangers that is actually Gillespie-Miller and is now is now 69 years old.

She still wishes to remain anonymous and did not commit a crime when leaving.

She did give Sergeant Jarvis her contact information to be given to her daughter, Tammy.