ELKTON — Investigators have filed a criminal charge against an Elkton High School teacher, after he allegedly kicked and strangled his ex-girlfriend’s puppy to death in June at their then-shared residence in Colora.
The suspect, Todd Anthony Corron, 36, of the 300 block of Harrisville Road, is charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a felony offense that is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Daniel Dominick Puhalski, a Cecil County Animal Services officer, filed that charge against Corron on July 13, after he investigated an incident that occurred June 16 at the couple’s residence in the 300 block of Harrisville Road, according to Cecil County District Court records.
That criminal charge was filed four days after Cecil County District Court Judge Clara Campbell, in an unrelated traffic case, imposed a suspended 30-day sentence on Corron and placed him on 12 months of unsupervised probation for driving while impaired by alcohol — marking Corron’s third drunken-driving conviction in 10 years, court records show.
In the criminal case, Puhalski went to the couple’s Harrisville Road residence June 13 after receiving a complaint regarding “a dog that had been killed due to a man strangling and kicking a puppy,” according to the charging document.
Puhalski interviewed Corron, court records show.
“After interview of the defendant (Corron), I learned that the defendant had indeed kicked the dog, but claimed it was a ‘freak accident.’ The defendant did not admit to strangling said dog,” Puhalski outlined in his statement of probable cause.
The officer then spoke to the puppy’s owner, whom he described as Corron’s ex-girlfriend, noting that she “had moved out of the (residence) after said incident with the puppy,” court records show.
“(She) admitted that the defendant had indeed strangled the puppy and kicked the animal, causing its death shortly afterwards,” court records allege.
Joe Buckley, Cecil County Public Schools associate superintendent for administrative services, confirmed that Corron is an Elkton High School physical education teacher.
Buckley was not at liberty to say what, if any, administrative disciplinary action has or will be taken against Corron regarding the aggravated animal cruelty charge against him and his recent driving while impaired by alcohol conviction, explaining, “It’s a personnel matter.”
“We were made aware of the situation. The charges are very serious in nature. We will exercise due diligence in investigating the incident,” Buckley told the Cecil Whig, adding, “We support the judicial process as it moves forward.”
In the traffic case that was adjudicated July 9, Corron pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol and received a suspended 30-day sentence and was placed on 12 months of unsupervised probation, court records show. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped related traffic charges of driving while impaired by alcohol and negligent driving, according to court records.
A related criminal case also had been filed against Corron, who stood accused of resisting arrest during that traffic stop at about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the 300 block of Harrisville Road in Colora and of assaulting Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputies while processing him later at the agency’s headquarters near Elkton, according to court records.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed one count each of second-degree assault and resisting arrest, court records show.
Prosecutors, however, placed another second-degree assault charge — the remaining criminal count against Corron — on the stet, or inactive, docket, according to court records. A charge on the stet docket remains on the books for three years, and the state is permitted to seek prosecution at any time during that time frame. During the last two years, however, the state must convince a judge that good reason exists to seek prosecution.
Cecil County District Court records indicate that Corron has two much older drunken-driving convictions.
In April 2008, Corron received probation before judgment after he pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol, a charge stemming from a Dec. 17, 2006, traffic stop on Route 272 near North East, court records show.
Then in March 2009, Corron pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol, a charge relating to an Oct. 11, 2008, traffic stop near the intersection of Route 272 and Route 273 in Calvert, according to court records, which do not indicate what sentence, if any, he received.