Atlanta Falcons player Prince Shembo was released by the Falcons after he allegedly kicked his ex-girlfriend's dog to death after the dog bit him.
But the player showed signs of trouble long before he callously killed the small dog.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Shembo's ex-girlfriend, Denica Williams, called police on April 19 after she took her Yorkie, named Dior, to his Mall of Georgia apartment in Buford, four days earlier.
Williams told police that at some point during the visit she left Shembo alone with the small dog. She said when she returned, Dior was limp and unresponsive.
Williams rushed the Yorkie to Duluth Animal Hospital, where the dog was pronounced dead.
The next day, Shembo confessed to Williams that he kicked the dog, and she broke up with him, the AJC reports.
A necropsy showed extensive damage to the dog's internal organs, including a fractured rib, internal bleeding in the chest, bleeding in the muscles of the legs and left eye, and head trauma.
The veterinarian determined the dog died from blunt force trauma to the head and body after being kicked multiple times.
"He didn't mean to kill the dog," Shembo's attorney Jerry Froelich said, after Shembo was arrested and released from Gwinnett county jail on Friday.
The Falcons cut Shembo after practice on Friday.
“We are aware of the charges that have been filed against Prince Shembo,” a team spokesman said. “We are extremely disappointed that one of our players is involved in something like this. Accordingly, we have decided to waive Prince Shembo.”
Former Falcons quarterback Mike Vick was cut from the team for cruelty to animals in 2008. He served time in prison for dogfighting.
Shembo has shown signs of trouble before.
In 2010, he was accused of sexually assaulting a white St. Mary's College student in his Notre Dame dorm room.
The 19-year-old rape victim overdosed on antidepressants 10 days later.
Shembo was never charged with sexual assault, probably because he was the school's star athlete.
“Pretty much it was an unfortunate event,” Shembo told reporters nonchalantly after he was drafted by the Falcons. “My name was pretty much cleared. It’s behind me now. I just want to focus on playing football for the Atlanta Falcons.”
Cruelty to animals is usually the 1st sign of a psychopath.
Serial killers usually start out by torturing then killing animals because they have no empathy or compassion for living things.