K-9 Rocco was stabbed to death in January 2014 while apprehending a suspect.
In 2016, the Allegheny County judge handed John Rush, 22, also a Megan’s Law offender, a sentence of up to 45 years in jail, which is a longer sentence than often given in homicide and child-abuse cases.
Judge Jill Rangos stacked the sentences for Rush’s multiple convictions, which included killing Rocco; stabbing Rocco’s handler, Officer Phil Lerza; punching officers; and attempting to take an officer’s gun.
“I lost my partner from this, and he was also a family member,” Lerza told the judge.
For his sacrifice, the 8-year-old German Shepherd Dog was inducted in the Amen Corner Law Enforcement Hall of Fame last fall.