The teen arrested on charges of shooting a feral cat outside the Zeus’ Place pet-care center pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, and will be subjected to a psychiatric evaluation as a result, announced District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
The cat, Blackie, was fatally shot from a passing car around 4 a.m. Oct. 4, and the incident was caught on surveillance video that sparked widespread outrage and disgust. Kyre West, 19, was arrested two days later after New Orleans police officers recognized him driving the same car from the video, and the weapon he used was determined to have been a pellet gun, according to Cannizzaro’s office.
West pleaded guilty Wednesday morning before Judge Franz Zibilich. He received a four-year prison term that will be suspended, though he will have to spend 60 days in jail. He will have to pay a $5,000 fine, plus $276 in restitution to Zeus’ Place, perform 400 hours of community service, and undergo a psychiatric evaluation as well as write an apology for the shooting.
“Mr. West deserves to pay for his outrageous actions against a defenseless animal, and we applaud the seriousness of the sentence imposed by Judge Zibilich,” Cannizzaro said in a news release. “Such despicable conduct offends not only pet and animal lovers, but the sensibilities of our community as a whole.”
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Smart was the lead prosecutor.