A man was sentenced to jail time followed by five years probation for shooting a 5-month-old kitten.
Melvin Bonds, 20, pleaded guilty to one felony guilty of aggravated animal cruelty on Friday. He was sentenced to 30 days of county jail and five years of probation.
Bonds’ conviction was withheld from his record by Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll.
“This was a horrific act committed upon a helpless 5-month-old kitten,” Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro. The defendant’s conduct of picking up a firearm, pointing it at the kitten and pulling the trigger causing extreme injuries and pain and suffering justify that the defendant serve time in jail.”
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On Feb. 2, Bonds had been home with his girlfriend of three years when he came out of his bedroom with a .22-caliber rifle and said, “Who wants to see me shoot the cat? I’ll do it.”
“No man don’t do that, are you crazy?” a friend told Bonds. His girlfriend added, “You are not going to shoot the cat, you won’t do that, so shush.”
Bonds had threatened to hurt the cat before, his girlfriend later told deputies, but had never acted on it. But Bonds did that day, shooting the kitten in both legs and chest with a single shot.
“It was a complete accident, stupid, but an accident,” Bonds told deputies following his arrest. “I am willing to take responsibility, but it was a stupid joke that went bad.”
During his probation, Bonds was ordered to have no care, control, custody, possession or intentional contact with domestic animals and to not us or possess weapons or firearms.
Carroll ruled that Bonds knowingly caused torture or torment, which made him subject to a $2,500 fine and requires that he undergo a psychological evaluation and any recommended treatment.