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"Cat killer gets four years in prison"!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
MAINE STATE LAW: TO DELIBRATELY KILL A CAT IS A FELONY IN MAINE



Cat killer gets four years in prison
Friday, December 03, 2004 - Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA - A Randolph man who is the first person in Maine's history to be charged under the new crime of felony animal cruelty will spend the next four years behind bars, a Superior Court judge ruled Thursday morning. A jury in November found John W. Witham, 27, guilty of deliberately driving his pickup truck over a pet carrier containing his girlfriend's cat as it was having kittens in the driveway of their Augusta home last February.


"It's me or the cat," Witham reportedly told Jessica James.

Witham then dropped the cat carrier containing the animal out of the window of the truck and told her "last chance" before backing over the crate, crushing it and killing the pet. The couple had lived together for 10 months.

Somerset-Kennebec District Attorney Evert Fowle said Thursday that Witham sent the state a message about what he was capable of when he deliberately ran over the cat.

The action, said Fowle, was a deliberate attempt to intimidate the girlfriend.

"This is more than the killing of an innocent animal," Fowle said. "This is in the context of domestic violence and intimidation."

Witham's full sentence was five years in jail, all but four years suspended, and four years probation.

Defense attorney Andrews Campbell of Waldoboro said Thursday afternoon that he was appealing the sentence as extreme.

"We feel it is outrageously excessive," Campbell said. "The usual sentence for animal cruelty is 60 days.

"Four years reflects the public hue and cry rather than justice."

At the time of the cat killing, Witham was on bail from a previous domestic assault against the woman and was prohibited from having contact with her. He also had been charged with possession of heroin and at the time of his trial was serving three years in Kennebec County Jail, all but nine months suspended, for the drug conviction.

"We are very pleased with [Justice Joseph Jabar] for this sentence," Fowle said. "We didn't just take the killing of an innocent animal into consideration but also all the medical and scientific studies that tell us that people that kill and torture animals will do so to people."

Witham's attorney maintained throughout his trial that his client accidentally ran over the cat carrier.

Fowle explained that the incident began last February when James' mother called from Gardiner to tell her the cat was in labor and to come and get it. Instead, Witham picked up the cat carrier and cat and returned to Augusta where he told James to choose between him and the cat, Fowle said.

Witham fled the scene and then called James twice, once when an Augusta police officer was at her home. During the second call, James reportedly said, "What do you mean? I'm next?" to Witham.

http://www.bangornews.com/news/templates/?a=104530&z=6
post #2 of 16
Should have given him more time :P
post #3 of 16
I agree.
post #4 of 16
OMG, that is so horrible!! At least the state took a stand on this one and convicted him of a felony and gave him serious time in prison. With that statement, his lawyer should be there with him.

I also moved this to SOS...
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Defense attorney Andrews Campbell of Waldoboro said Thursday afternoon that he was appealing the sentence as extreme.
"We feel it is outrageously excessive," Campbell said. "The usual sentence for animal cruelty is 60 days.
"Four years reflects the public hue and cry rather than justice."
WTH??? Don't you love lawyers?
Violence toward animals is usually a precursor to violence toward people. When will people learn this?? The guy killed the cat to intimidate his girl friend, who he wasn't supposed to be around anyway!!

I'm glad he got thrown in jail, and I agree with Cirque; he should have gotten more time!
post #6 of 16
I sure wish they would execute the pathetic loser!
post #7 of 16
I'm hoping he doesn't come after the ex-girlfriend when he gets out. That poor girl, to witness what she did and now to have to live in fear because of it.
post #8 of 16
Yeah I agree with everybody. Four years seems a lot of time (for Animal Cruelty cases in our country!!) but it still isn't suffice!
post #9 of 16
I really hope theres some 19 stone of pure muscle inside who can't stand cruelty to animals
post #10 of 16
Wow. Did the punishment fit the crime-I think that man was probably only getting started.
post #11 of 16
I'm glad its a felony, but it is NO WHERES NEAR ENOUGH TIME!
post #12 of 16
Hurray for the outcome, and with the remaining suspended sentence hanging over his head, any future prosecutors will be able to return him to prison so much easier. Because, unfortunately, the odds are that psycho will hurt again. And that poor, poor cat..and her heartbroken owner, that woman will be haunted by this the rest of her days. I hope that someone will help her find out about TCS - she'd get plenty of understanding and comfort here!!
post #13 of 16
Someone should put him in a crate and run him over.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
if there is only one good side of convicts in prison is many tend to like cats. This
scumbag has now joined these convicts and they know what he is in for.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by empirefalls
if there is only one good side of convicts in prison is many tend to like cats. This
scumbag has now joined these convicts and they know what he is in for.
Yes! And may he die a thousand deaths..
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme
Hurray for the outcome, and with the remaining suspended sentence hanging over his head, any future prosecutors will be able to return him to prison so much easier. Because, unfortunately, the odds are that psycho will hurt again. And that poor, poor cat..and her heartbroken owner, that woman will be haunted by this the rest of her days. I hope that someone will help her find out about TCS - she'd get plenty of understanding and comfort here!!
People who injure/hurt humans often start hurting animals first.
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