DNA Evidence Used to Convict Cat Torturer

 |  May 31st 2011  |   12 Contributions


Scruffy the cat, seen here with singed whiskers, was euthanized shortly after two New York teenagers burned him and left him to die. Photo courtesy of the ASPCA

Last Wednesday, a 20-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., man was sentenced to two to six years in prison for setting a cat on fire and leaving it to die.

Angelo Monderoy, who prosecutors said burned the cat in a "wanton act of evil," also faces deportation to his native country, Trinidad.

In October 2008, Scruffy, a neighborhood cat, was found in a vacant Crown Heights apartment with most of his fur and skin burned off. The building's supervisor, who discovered the cat in a vacant apartment, rushed him to a veterinary clinic, where he was euthanized due to the severity of the burns, most of which went down to the muscle.

The investigation began when animal law enforcement officers from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found burned animal tissue stuck to the floor of the apartment and sent it to a lab, along with tissue taken from Scruffy's body. The two samples came back a match.

Monderoy and another teenager, Matthew Cooper, told authorities they attacked the cat because they were bored. One stepped on Scruffy and the other doused him with lighter fluid.

Cooper pleaded guilty at the time and was sentenced to seven years in prison for a number of crimes including an assault on a man. Monderoy chose to take his case to trial, and in March of this year he was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals, arson and burglary.

Prosecutors said the DNA match allowed them to link Scruffy to the attack in the apartment, which strengthened their case.

At the sentencing hearing, Justice Michael A. Gary of the New York State Supreme Court, said the attack on the hapless feline was not a spontaneous or impulsive act, and that Monderoy and Cooper had to have done some advance planning. He added that Monderoy had plenty of opportunities to stop, but he didn't.

The world should know, Justice Gary said, what Monderoy had done.

Even though Monderoy didn't get anything close to the maximum sentence of 15 years, prison inmates are not known to be fond of animal abusers -- and this reporter suspects that he will get plenty of "jailhouse justice" during his confinement.

[Source: New York Daily News]

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