Former Melrose police chief acquitted of animal cruelty charge

Freedom Newspapers

A former Melrose police chief was acquitted Thursday by a Magistrate Court on one count of animal cruelty.

Michael Trammell, 37, resigned as police chief in October after he was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty.

“He’s pleased to put the matter behind him,” Trammell’s attorney, Tye Harmon said. Harmon said his client would not seek job reinstatement, but civil action is possible.

District Attorney Matt Chandler said the jury decided Trammell was acting within the scope of his duties as a police officer when he transported a dog to a county road and shot it three times with his service weapon. The dog had attacked chickens.

Chandler said because of a magistrate judge’s ruling, the state was unable to introduce evidence from the other cases and thereby establish a pattern of cruelty.

A magistrate judge last week ordered the District Attorney’s office to dismiss six other animal cruelty charges against Trammell based on the fact that due process deadlines would expire before the court could accommodate seven trials, according to court documents.

Chandler said his office will reevaluate whether or not to move forward with the remaining cases of animal cruelty against Trammell.

He said an assistant district attorney is going to meet with the owners of the animals Trammell allegedly killed before a decision is made.