Mistrial Declared In Cat Shooting Case

StevensonThe trial of a birdwatcher accused of animal cruelty for shooting a cat ended in a mistrial yesterday after a verdict could not be reached by jurors.

Jim Stevenson, the founder of the Galveston Ornithological Society, admitted he shot a cat because he saw it hunting a threatened species of bird.

Stevenson stated that he thought the cat was a feral cat and was a threat to the birds, so he decided to shoot the cat. But a toll bridge worker claimed that the cat was his and that he took care of it which would make him the cat’s owner.

A Texas state law bars the killing of domesticated animals without the owner’s permission. If Stevenson was convicted, he would have faced up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The jury deliberated for 8 1/2 hours before the judge declared the case a mistrial.

Stevenson’s attorney said, “The jury was hopelessly deadlocked, so the government has to decide if they are going to waste more of taxpayers’ money trying this again. But they can try this a thousand times and they will never get a guilty because he didn’t commit a felony.”

The Assistant District Attorney said the cat’s death was a “terrible thing that did not have to happen.”

Source: Houston Chronicle

Photo: Associated Press

6 Responses to “Mistrial Declared In Cat Shooting Case”

  1. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    We have no idea what the norm is, but it seems a bit early to us for that judge to call a mistrial after only eight hours.

  2. stefani says:

    This is very very disappointing news. That man thinks there is nothing wrong with what he did. Now he feels justified in his cat shooting sprees.

    He’s not doing the birds a favor really, because predation by cats is the least of their worries. Habitat destruction and human activity (development) are the reasons the plover (the bird he was “protecting”) is in such a precarious position. If he really wanted to eliminate the species responsible for the decline in the plovers numbers, he would be turning his gun on humans. Which of course, the law would never allow.


  3. Donna says:

    This man will suffer a horrible fate.The law may let him slip. But , I assure you greater forces will destroy him. No life is more important than an other. His future looks black. Karma, has a mean bite. She leaves a fatal infection. The door to his fate has been opened by his killing an innocent animal.It is by his hand, he has sealed his fate. I await justice for the murder of “momma cat”.

  4. Mike S. says:

    So this man thinks it’s ok for him to kill a cat, but it’s not ok for a cat to kill a bird? It’s a cat’s nature to kill birds. It’s not a human’s nature to kill cats. I really hate humans and I’m disgusted with myself for being one. We are horrible, disgusting creatures that must die. The world belongs to the animals. Weren’t they here before us anyway?

  5. Stefani says:


    “I really hate humans and I’m disgusted with myself for being one. We are horrible, disgusting creatures that must die. The world belongs to the animals.”

    Mike, I have to say that taken as a whole, I agree with you. But as others have referred to karma for the individual, we see already our karma as a species. Sadly, we will take the mammals with us when we go, and probably most of the birds, too. But rest assured, exactly what you envision is coming to pass thanks to our destruction of the environment. There WILL be living creatures here when we are gone, just not us, or most of the animals we know.

    Life will grow back here, and we will probably not be the terminus of an evolutionary branch next time around. Our kind won’t be seen again.


  6. Tanya says:

    Just an fyi 8 hours is quite common for most trials except things like rape, murder, etc.

    There is, in many courts, a monitary “understanding” of what is acceptable for more lengthy deliberations. The judge can also ask the jury “are you close to a decision?” that can influence him.

    but 8 hours is one full day of just deliberation. Unless the trial is extremly complex (for example, a construction suit worth millions of dollars, but each award must be itamized), a jury that cannot decide in 8 hours is unlikely to decide the next day or the day after.

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