A teenager who torched a cat in a small cage in a despicable act of animal cruelty has asked the court, through his defense lawyers, to serve probation, 100 hours of community service and court-ordered therapy. Miami prosecutors say Roberto Hernandez, 19, who was a minor at the time of the crime, torched the defenseless cat and then fed it to his dogs.
According to the Miami Herald, the State Attorney’s Office is asking the judge to sentence Hernandez to a year in jail.
The video, captured on the a neighbor’s home-surveillance system on July 10, 2016 at the defendant’s home, showed Hernandez “dousing a live cat with some sort of combustible liquid.” Hernandez could be seen flicking lit matches into the cage until it burst into flames. The cat tried to escape while writhing in pain in the cage, and according to the witness, the defendant seemed entertained by the animal’s suffering and sipped on a drink while watching the animal suffer.
“He is seen opening the cage, grabbing the burned animal and throwing it to his pit bulls in order to finish killing the animal or to dispose of its remains,” stated Miami Dade Assistant State Attorney Nicole Garcia in a motion filed last week.
Prosecutors want Hernandez sentenced to at least 364 days in jail and five years of probation. Defense lawyers have stated their client’s troubled childhood. His father was sent to prison and dropped out of school at age 16. In addition, the farm where he lived had cockfighting going on. His lawyers also contend the animal in the cage was not a cat, but rather a rabid raccoon, however Florida laws defines animal cruelty as “unjustifiable pain and suffering” to any animal.
“Even if he was unaware of the statute criminalizing animal cruelty, it should be instinctively known to the average man of his age that burning an animal alive is wrong. It appears he has no regard to the pain and suffering of animals,” wrote Nicole Garcia.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Nushin Sayfie is scheduled to decide the punishment at a hearing scheduled for March 14.
Yesterday: Man stood on corner with a sign to help reunite lost dog with her family – more here.
More: Elephant crushed trainer who was beating him – the story here.
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