A former Louisiana police officer accused of killing a Maine man’s dog by shooting it between the eyes has been indicted by a grand jury in Louisiana’s Calcasieu Parish on a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.

Brian Thierbach, who was an officer in the Louisiana city of Sulphur before resigning last month, is now being allowed time to turn himself in on a warrant, according to Louisiana attorney Alyson Antoon, who represents the Maine man.

The dog’s owner, 28-year-old Brandon Carpenter, who is originally from Portland, is an occasional musician who had been traveling around the country earlier this year, largely by hopping freight trains.

He accused the officer of shooting his leashed dog, Arzy, without provocation on April 28.

When Carpenter and his traveling companion, Logan Laliberte, originally from Auburn, arrived in Sulphur in late April, they got into the back of an empty box truck to get out of the rain.

When someone saw the pair and called police, Thierbach arrived and arrested Carpenter and Laliberte for trespassing.

After they were handcuffed, Carpenter has said, Thierbach went to search their belongings, which were next to where Arzy was leashed.

Thierbach claimed that Arzy nipped at his foot and he shot the Newfoundland, Labrador and golden retriever mix. However, an independent witness said the dog didn’t attack the officer.

The Sulphur police chief said in a news release in May that an investigation determined that Thierbach had violated department policies on the use of force, personal conduct and behavior, but the officer resigned from the force before disciplinary action was taken.

Antoon said the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office had asked Carpenter to come to the courthouse in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Thursday and she accompanied him there in case he was called before the grand jury to testify.

“Brandon and I were there and waited. They ended up coming into the room and telling us that the grand jury had already made its decision. They didn’t need his testimony,” Antoon said.

“There is so much evidence that they didn’t need his testimony.”

Antoon said she has reviewed the evidence against Thierbach, which included video and an independent eyewitness.

“From what I’ve seen, clearly a crime was committed,” she said. “We are pleased with the grand jury’s decision.”

Antoon said Carpenter was initially upset that he was not called as a witness because he was prepared to testify, but was happy that the grand jury decided to indict Thierbach.

“I hate to say you are happy to see someone charged with a crime, but we feel it’s the first step toward justice for the dog,” Antoon said.

A spokeswoman for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office did not immediately return a phone message.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @scottddolan