Cape man guilty on animal abuse charge

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Cape Girardeau man pleaded guilty Tuesday to torturing and killing a cat, marking the first local felony animal cruelty conviction, Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said.

Eric Lee Ford, 45, of 259 N. Park Ave., entered the plea in Mississippi County, where his case was moved on a change of venue.

In his plea, Swingle said, Ford admitted taking the cat owned by Camilla Coy and squeezing it, throwing it against a wall and then stomping on it. The incident occurred Aug. 14, 2004.

The charge reflects the cruelty of Ford's action, Swingle said. Normally animal cruelty is a misdemeanor. It becomes a felony when the act involves torture or mutilation of the animal while it is alive, Swingle said.

Most animal cruelty convictions carry a maximum of one year in a county jail. The charge against Ford carries a maximum of four years in prison but Swingle said his office is recommending supervised probation for Ford.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 13.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: