Daniel Eligha Knotts, 20, of New Hanover County, entered guilty pleas to two counts of animal cruelty, class H felonies.
On May 3, Knotts strangled two kittens that were only a few weeks old and when Officer Rose with the Wilmington Police Department responded to the scene after getting a 911 call, the kittens' tiny bodies were found by police in a shallow grave behind a residence at 2825 Graham Street.
On Wednesday, Knotts received two suspended sentences of 6-17 months with 60 months of supervised probation with the Division of Community Corrections, the maximum time allowed under state law.
He does not have to go to prison. Instead, he must serve 75 days in the county jail prior to being released on probation.
Knotts will also be required to complete mental health and substance abuse evaluations and treatment, comply with prescribed medication, and he is not allowed to possess or care for any animals during the course of his probation.
(WECT - July 28, 2017)