Sunday, April 27, 2008
A man suspected of killing a young cat pleaded guilty to animal cruelty Monday when a judge offered to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor.
Steven Bruce Tippett is now serving a 90-day sentence in Tuolumne County Jail.
He was arrested Oct. 29, after he brought a dead cat into the Tuolumne County Animal Control office. He told staff members he was trying to put it in a box, but it kept jumping out.
He choked it after the second time, officials reported.
William Polley, a retired judge who was sitting in for Judge Eric DuTemple, offered the plea deal.
Prosecutor Jim Newkirk was disappointed with the case's resolution because Tippett has a history of violence, and drug and alcohol abuse, he said.
"I felt that the conduct was felony conduct based on Mr. Tippett's fairly lengthy criminal history," he said.
Newkirk doubts Tippett will have to serve his full sentence due to jail overcrowding. He was also not given probation.
Tippett faced a prison sentence of up to three years for the felony charge.
Elsie Sheldon, founder of Sonora Cat Rescue, said the latter was more fitting for Tippett's crime.
Members of Sonora Cat Rescue, a nonprofit group that works to spay and neuter feral cats and place some cats in homes, had followed the case from its beginning.
"He'll just be out able to kill more cats," Sheldon said.
Tippett's attorney, Clay Bedford, who pushed for reducing the charge to a misdemeanor, couldn't be reached for comment.
Thanx for this, Alice.
p.s. Warren Brando is a really cool cat name.. :)
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