2 Maine cops who beat porcupines to death sentenced to jail time

Two Maine police officers who admitted to beating 11 porcupines to death were sentenced Thursday.

Michael Rolerson, 31, and Addison Cox, 28, will spend time in jail, though most of their sentences are suspended, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The two were fired from the Rockland Police Department in September 2020 amid an investigation.

On multiple occasions, Rolerson and Cox beat porcupines to death with their department-issued batons while on duty in the 7,000-person city near the center of Maine’s coastline. The abuse was reported in August 2020 after another officer saw videos of the beatings.

Rolerson pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals and night hunting, both misdemeanors, according to the Bangor Daily News. He was sentenced to 270 days in jail, but 250 were suspended. He was also fined $1,000.

Cox pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced to 90 days, but will only serve 10 with the other 80 suspended, the Maine newspaper reported. He was fined $1,000 and given 100 hours of community service.

Rolerson’s sentence was more severe because he killed eight porcupines to Cox’s three, and he was the superior officer.

Prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges in part because both men are military veterans who served in Afghanistan, the Bangor Daily News reported. Rolerson and Cox will receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

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