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Up to 44 years for man in fatal Pittsburgh police dog stabbing

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A man convicted of fatally stabbing a Pittsburgh police dog has been sentenced to 17 years, 9 months to 44 years in prison.

A judge said Tuesday that John Lewis Rush must also serve 8 years of probation following his release.

Channel 11's Jennifer Tomazic reports the judge sentenced John Rush on each charge and the sentence will run consecutively.

https://twitter.com/JenniferTomazic/status/575302818627764225

The 22-year-old Stowe Township resident was convicted in December of torturing a police animal, aggravated assault on the dog's handler, who was stabbed in a shoulder, and three other officers and other offenses.

Police say Rush stabbed the dog in the back and wounded two officers trying to arrest him in January 2014 on warrants for violating probation and failing to register as a sex offender. Rush says he stabbed the dog in self-defense.

The incident prompted state lawmakers to stiffen the penalty for harming police animals.

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