A Rutland hunter who police say killed an elderly Castleton woman’s cat while hunting on her land last fall denied a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals on Monday.
Jeremiah J. Lynch III, 33, pleaded innocent in Rutland criminal court to the felony charge which carries a potential three-year prison sentence.
Castleton Police Officer Steve Dechen said Lynch admitted to loosing the arrow that killed “Kit Kat,” a gray and white short-haired male cat who belonged to a 82-year-old woman on Pond Hill Road.
The cat, a final gift from the woman’s deceased husband, was found shot by a razor-tipped arrow on Oct. 14. The cat was euthanized by veterinarian Robin Crossman who told police the wound to the animal was “one of the cruelest things he had witnessed in his career.”
While Lynch, who was seen hunting on the woman’s property on Oct. 14, initially denied any involvement in the cat’s death, Dechen said some of the arrows he was hunting with were an exact match to the one that critically wounded the animal.
Police say Lynch eventually admitted to firing an arrow at the cat, but said he believed he was shooting at a squirrel.
Dechen said he told Lynch that he didn’t believe the hunter mistook the cat for a squirrel due to the size difference of the two animals.
As part of his affidavit, Dechen said he is seeking $171 in restitution to pay for the loss of the pet and the veterinarian bill.
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