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ALICE (AP) – A South Texas deputy sheriff who was fired after his police dog died when left in a hot patrol car has been charged with animal cruelty.

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Latham Roldan faces the misdemeanor count in last month’s death of his K-9 partner, Jola.

A prosecutor in Jim Wells County said Tuesday that arraignment was pending for Roldan, whose dog was found dead Aug. 10 in the law enforcement vehicle. Authorities believe Jola was trapped for more than 20 hours, during near triple-digit temperatures.

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Roldan was fired Aug. 11. The misdemeanor animal cruelty count was filed last week. Conviction carries a maximum penalty of a $4,000 fine and up to a year behind bars.

A message for comment left at a publicly listed phone number, in Roldan’s name, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

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