Colorado Man Sentenced to 45 Days and $135 for Cat Killing


Cat Killer Faces His Sentence

In Colorado this week, a judge sentenced convicted cat killer Paul Vickers (left), of Longmont, to a scant 45-day work release stint plus probation. Vickers beat his wife’s cat, Bootsie, fracturing her skull and jaw, and then shot the cat with a .22 rifle. He claimed the attack was at attempt to “get back at” his wife.

The defense attorney claimed that Vickers “otherwise loves animals and should do community service at a shelter.” Say what? The poor cat was found with a fractured skull and jaw and fatal gunshots. On what planet would Vickers be considered an animal lover?

Here’s the full story from

A Longmont man who admitted to killing his wife’s cat in an attempt to get back at her was sentenced Monday to 45 days of work-release and two years probation.

Paul Vickers, 50, was also sentenced to 48 hours of community service, but the judge denied his request to serve that time at an animal shelter.

Vickers shot the cat, named Bootsie, with a .22-caliber rifle in March, in what police called an act of revenge over an argument with his wife. Investigators also uncovered 4.2 pounds of processed marijuana in Vickers house.

He pleaded guilty in October to felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and attempt to possess marijuana.

Vickers lawyer, Jason Savela, argued that his client was severely stressed in his role as sole caretaker for his wife, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. He said Vickers had been drinking heavily before the killing.

He was drinking tons and tons of alcohol in the days leading up to this event, Savela told Boulder District Judge Maria E. Berkenkotter on Monday. The cat died because he was drunk and was making bad decisions.

Savela said his client does not dislike animals in general but hated the particular cat he beat and shot, mainly because it was mean to other cats in the house.

He asked the judge if Vickers could resume growing pot because his wife needs it for medical purposes. Vickers didnt have a medical marijuana license at the time police found the drug in his house.

Savela said it would be too expensive for Vickers, who is unemployed, to obtain marijuana from dispensaries in the state. He said the price of the drug is currently around $100 for a quarter-ounce and Vickers wife needs one to 1 ounces a month.

I think there are reasons to allow him to grow again, your honor, Savela said.

But Berkenkotter refused the defense attorneys request and said Vickers or his wife needs to obtain a medical marijuana license and buy pot from a licensed facility.

She also said Vickers should serve 45 days of work-release as a punitive measure for his cruelty toward the cat, especially the beating he gave the animal before he shot it.

It appears that the cat suffered, the judge said, noting that the animal was found with a fractured jaw and skull.

She said the killing was particularly egregious because Bootsie was a favorite of his wife, who relied on Vickers for all of her care.

That makes the killing of the cat not just cruel, but very intimidating, Berkenkotter said.

Vickers told the judge he would hire someone else to help care for his wife to ease his stress level.

Im no longer going to have to do it all, he said, choking up. And alcohol is not the answer.

Vickers was also ordered to pay $135 in restitution, get a full-time job, and attend 12-step meetings.

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