Teen sentenced 23 years for fatally shooting police dog
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - 18-year old Ivins Rosier says drugs and alcohol were to blame when at age 16, he broke into a Florida Highway Patrol trooper's home and shot a retired police dog. Rosier was just 16 when he and two others broke into the trooper's home. Rosier, on an ankle monitor after being arrested for another crime, shot the trooper's retired K-9 named Drake. The dog later died, in spite of exhaustive efforts to save him. "The drugs and alcohol affected me-- truly it made me something I wasn't," Rosier explained to the judge Friday. He said he got caught up with the wrong crowd. School staff from the jail testified Rosier got straight A's and was a leader among students at the jail. "I've seen him stop fights," said Chuck Stamm, a part-time pastor with Youth for Christ, who ministers at the jail. "There's a lot of (Creole-speaking) kids in there, and they'd be lost without him there." Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Robin Rosenberg declined to treat Rosier as a youthful offender worthy of a light punishment, and sentenced him as an adult to 23 years in state prison, instead of the Youthful Offender sentence of six years or less. But Rosenberg ruled that was not appropriate, given the nature of Rosier's acts. With a youth sentence out, the case fell under the state's 10-20-Life law. For Rosier, that meant a mandatory sentence of 20 years for one of the three counts against him, and 23 all together. "That's not the person that I am," now 18-year-old Rosier said, more than two months after a jury found him guilty of the Nov. 18, 2012 crimes. "The person that I am is a loving, caring person ... I'm not a vicious person, I'm not a ruthless person." "Obviously the family is disappointed," said Rosier's attorney, Jack Fleischman, who vowed to appeal. Prosecutor Judith Arco called it "an appropriate sentence." In court, she had called the prospect of a youth sentence of 6 years or less "woefully inadequate." "I believe this to be sadistic to do this to a child," Fleischman said. "Completely overboard, and I understand the dog died and they broke into a home with guns, but when you look at the range of punishments available, that's why they call it juvenile."