Torture charge added to animal cruelty case | News, Sports, Jobs

If the case of a Garland man accused of throwing a cat into a fire goes to trial, jurors will assess whether the alleged cruelty rises to the level of torture.

Elijah J. Cottrell, 19, is charged with aggravated animal cruelty – grievous bodily harm, cruelty to animals and, following a hearing on Friday, aggravated animal cruelty – torture.

Cottrell allegedly threw a cat about 25 feet into the middle of a December bonfire in Eldred Township, court documents show.

Dr. Theresa Konzel, the veterinarian who treated the cat, testified at a previous hearing that the cat suffered burns all over her body, melted whiskers and nails, burnt hair, and that 75-80% of the pads on the cat’s feet had suffered third-degree burns that would cause “strict” pain.

Assistant District Attorney Casey Strickland filed a motion to add the torture charge saying the cat suffered “severe and prolonged pain” — wording of the subsection on torture.

Attorney Alan Conn, representing Cottrell, said the testimony did not indicate the cat endured “severe and prolonged pain”.

Conn cited Konzel’s treatment testimony and said that a “pretty minor painkiller” was prescribed for the cat.

Presiding Judge Maureen Skerda granted the motion.

“The court feels this might be something a jury should consider,” Skerda said.

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