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Police await dog necropsy in cruelty case

LAWRENCEVILLE - Investigators are awaiting the results of a necropsy on a dog believed to have died due to injuries received after being left alone with Atlanta Falcons defense tackle Jonathan Babineaux.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said police were called to the Animal Emergency Center of Gwinnett on Sunday to investigate reports of animal abuse after 24-year-old Blair Anderson, Babineaux's live-in girlfriend, brought her pit bull mix, Kilo, to the hospital.

Moloney said Anderson told officers she had an argument with Babineaux and after leaving their home at 2362 Stand Ave. in Lawrenceville received a call from him telling her she needed to come home to check on her dog.

Anderson arrived home, finding Kilo had been injured. Moloney said Anderson took the dog to the emergency center at 1956 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road where the dog was pronounced dead.

"Preliminary investigations indicate Kilo died due to blunt force trauma to the head," Moloney said. "Necropsy results will not be available until sometime next week."

The emergency center's office administrator refused to comment on the incident due to client/doctor confidentiality.

Moloney said police contacted Babineaux by phone Sunday and met with him at the animal hospital to question him about the incident.

The 25-year-old football player told police he was not responsible for the animal's death, Moloney said, but police and Gwinnett County Animal Control officers followed Anderson and Babineaux to their home to check on the couple's second pit bull, Ace.

Moloney said Ace was not injured but was handed over to animal control for safekeeping during the investigation.

Sammy Jeanes, manager of Gwinnett County Animal Control, said he could only confirm Ace was handed over to Animal Control, but he could not comment on the specifics of the incident.

A felony arrest warrant for cruelty to animals was later obtained by officers, Moloney said, and Babineaux was arrested at his home Monday morning after his account of what happened to Kilo was inconsistent with the information concerning the dog provided by the animal emergency center staff.

Lt. Derrick Locklear, shift commander for the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office, said Babineaux was released from the Gwinnett County Detention Center around 7:53 a.m. Monday on a $2,300 bond.

If convicted, Moloney said Babineaux could face a sentence of one to five years in prison and/or fines up to $15,000.

Reggie Roberts, vice president of Falcons football communications, said he is continuing to determine the specifics of the alleged incident.

"We're still in the fact-gathering stages," Roberts said.

Roberts refused to discuss what type of person Babineaux is or if the alleged incident was characteristic of the player.

"I'm not going to discuss that," he said.