- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A 22-year-old man charged in the fatal stabbing of a beloved Pittsburgh police dog is expected to stand trial this week.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in John Rush’s trial on felony abuse of a police animal, disarming a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and other charges.

Prosecutors say Rush stabbed 8-year-old police dog Rocco in January as police arrested him on warrants for probation violations and failing to register as a sex offender.

Police say Rush stabbed Rocco in the back and wounded two officers before being taken into custody.

Money from Rocco’s memorial fund is being used for protective vests for Pittsburgh’s other police dogs.

The state stiffened the maximum penalty for abuse of a police animal to 10 years, three more years than Rush faces.

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