Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Man sentenced for kicking kitten to death after trying to feed it to python

ARIZONA -- A 30-year-old Mesa man who kicked a 6-week-old kitten to death after trying to feed it to a python snake last year, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation on Friday.

Jeremy Tuffly pleaded guilty to one felony count of animal cruelty in Maricopa County Superior Court last month.

Jeremy Tuffly

According to the sheriff's office, the incident was shot in February 2004.

The video shows a smiling Tuffly in a daylight shot repeatedly tossing the gray-and-white kitten into a plastic storage box containing a python.

The snake doesn't seem all that interested in the cat until Tuffly throws it directly onto the back of the snake.

The kitten kept running back toward Tuffly as if he were going to rescue it, only to be tossed right back onto the snake.

The video then switches to a nighttime shot and shows Tuffly pick up the kitten from the grass and drop-kicking it like a football it into the street. A man in the shot can be seen flinching as the kitten sails into the street. The kitten died from its injuries.

According to the state's response to Hadder's motion, Tuffly's father-in-law, Timothy Hedgpeth, discovered the original 8-millimeter tape when he was helping his daughter, Christina Tuffly, move.

Hedgpeth was sickened by the video and distraught over hearing his daughter crying on the video, deputy county attorney Anthony Church wrote.

Christina Tuffly told a sheriff's investigator that she shot the video after her husband threatened to kill her and kicked her in the ribs, for refusing at first. The couple's divorce became final in October.

Hedgpeth took the original to Jerry's Video Transfer in Mesa and had it reproduced in its entirety except for the sound. He turned it over to the sheriff's office, according to Church.

(East Valley Tribune - June 14, 2010)