Teens enter lesser pleas in cat microwaving case
Published Tuesday, November 18, 2008 4:11PM MST
The two remaining teens accused of using a microwave to kill a neighbour's cat pleaded guilty Monday to lesser charges of break and enter.
The case comes after three 16-year-old boys and a 13-year-old teen were charged in early 2008 after a family pet was found dead in a microwave inside a Camrose home. An RCMP investigation revealed the cat died when the appliance was turned on.
The two boys, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, have long argued they were not the leaders in the act and they played no role in placing the animal in the microwave.
One youth pleaded guilty to break and enter causing mischief. The other pleaded guilty to the same charge plus breach of recognizance.
The judge sentenced one teen to 10 months probation for the breach of recognizance charge. The other accused who had no previous history was given nine months probation.
Both teens were given 100 hours community service and will have to provide a DNA sample.
Crown prosecutor John Laluk said the two boys were not in the room when the cat was put in the microwave.
"It was clear after interviewing other kids that nobody planned ahead of time to do anything to the cat, it was a spur of the moment thing," he said.
The other two teenagers, both 16, pleaded guilty in July to unlawfully causing pain and suffering to an animal.
Both were given 100 hours community service and placed on probation for a year.
Court had previously heard the suspects put the cat in the microwave, turned it on for 10 minutes and listened to its screams before it died.
A family friend of the homeowners discovered the dead cat, named Princess, on Dec. 30 while the family was away on Christmas vacation.
The house had been broken into and trashed.
Police later found the words, "The cat is in the microwave. Nice cat. You had a nice cat," scribbled on a kitchen cupboard.
Judge James Koshman said he couldn't ignore the fact an animal was killed during the break and enter.
"I have a great concern regarding cruelty to animals and what that signifies," he said. "It seems to be a flag for other issues."
Animal activist groups once again appeared outside of the Camrose courtroom to protect the horrific acts performed inside the home.
Some of the people outside tell CTV News the sentences do not serve as justice for the treatment of Princess the cat.
Tove Reece, from animal rights group Voice for Animals, said she is happy to see the boys sentenced even though the cruelty to animal charge was dropped.
"Despite the fact it wasn't part of the charges, at least it looks like the courts are starting to take it more seriously," she said.