Warning: This story may disturb some readers.
A California man accused of firing two arrows from a crossbow to kill a neighbor’s tabby cat will face trial on two animal-cruelty counts, a judge ruled Monday.
The man, Robert Eugene Brunner, pleaded not guilty to two counts of intentionally killing an animal and one count of animal abuse.
Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman dismissed one of the shooting counts after Brunner’s attorney said that he could not be held separately liable for each arrow found in the cat.
The three-year-old orange tabby cat named Bill was found near his owner’s home in suburban San Diego with metal arrows in its neck and back the morning of April 12, 2006. The arrows were surgically removed, but the cat died two days later from his extensive injuries.
According to a prosecution witness, Brunner said he fired a crossbow at the cat because he was urinating in Brunner’s yard.
Brunner’s attorney questioned the witness’s testimony, saying that the woman may have been influenced by a cash reward for information about the cat’s case.
If convicted, Brunner faces up to four years and eight months in prison.
The cat’s owner, Janeen Bubien, said she was happy with the judge’s ruling and is glad that someone is listening to her case. She said that “justice is going to be served.”
Brunner has already been ruled civilly liable for the cat’s death. After he was sued by Bubien, the case was settled for $2,500, and a judge added $5,000 to the settlement to help with Bubien’s moving costs.
Brunner was already in custody on an unrelated probation violation in a domestic violence case when the animal abuse charges were filed in June. He is in custody on $75,000 bail. Brunner was ordered to return to court on August 20 to receive a trial date.
Source: Washington Post, 10News.com