Man found with head of ex-girlfriend's cat gets 52 days in jail
An Oregon man accused of chopping the head off his ex-girlfriend's cat in an effort to attract another woman pleaded guilty to a burglary...
The Associated Press
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — An Oregon man accused of chopping the head off his ex-girlfriend's cat in an effort to attract another woman pleaded guilty to a burglary charge and was sentenced to 52 days in jail.
Klamath County Judge Cameron Wogan also ruled that Benjamin Noller can't own a pet for three years and must pay the cat's owner $1,700.
As part of Tuesday's plea agreement, prosecutors dropped a charge of first-degree aggravated animal abuse.
Noller, 21, of Klamath Falls had become interested in a woman who joked that he should give her the head of a black cat as a gift, said Cole Chase, a deputy district attorney.
Chase said Noller lured his ex-girlfriend from her home by showing a renewed interest in her and taking her out to eat. He allegedly left her at the restaurant, broke into her home and took the cat named Domino.
Investigators said Noller put Domino in a bucket and closed the lid. Once the cat was dead, police said he used a hatchet to chop its head off.
A Klamath Falls police officer saw the cat's head in a jar when he pulled Noller over for a suspected traffic violation in August 2006.
Investigators initially couldn't trace where Noller had gotten the head, but a woman came forward, saying Noller confessed to her, Chase said.
Christina Davidson, the cat's owner, said she initially thought Domino had wandered from home. She said prosecutors should not have dropped the animal-abuse charge.
"I thought Oregon was a no-tolerance-for-animal-abuse state," Davidson wrote in a letter to the Herald and News newspaper of Klamath Falls.
Chase said he understands Davidson's point of view, but noted that burglary carries a stiffer penalty than animal abuse.
"It's a more serious charge," Chase said. "He can't expunge that. He'll always be a convicted felon."
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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