Published Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 | 3 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 | 5:07 p.m.
Two 11-year-old boys each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit animal cruelty in the death of a mother cat two months ago.
The boys appeared Tuesday before Clark County Family Court Judge William Voy.
The case dates to Oct. 9 when witnesses were alerted to what sounded like glass shattering around the 9600 block of Russell Road. Initially, according to Metro Police, witnesses thought the two juveniles were throwing rocks at an apartment building.
However, the youngsters had been throwing rocks at a mother cat giving birth, the witnesses told police. The cat’s six kittens ultimately died.
Michael Watson, a prosecutor in the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, said autopsies were not performed on the kittens, so it was unclear whether the mother cat had even given birth to the kittens yet.
In court, the boys admitted to throwing several rocks at an adult cat. They said they left when it appeared the cat became angry.
A psychological evaluation of the boys did not show any signs of underlying psychological issues, Voy said.
Voy sentenced each of the boys to 12 months of probation, a 30-day suspended sentence in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center and 80 hours of community service. In addition, the boys were ordered to attend school, have no further association with each other and write an essay for the court about how to properly treat animals.
Jeannie Hua, a defense attorney for one of the boys, said her client has been traumatized since this incident and has realized he made a “terrible mistake.”
“My client is far more than what he is here for today,” Hua told Voy. “He is a good kid.”
The boys sat next to each other in Voy’s courtroom as their defense attorneys stood nearby. They spoke quietly when addressing the judge, occasionally breaking down in tears.
Animal advocates — including Stacia Newman, president of Nevada Political Action for Animals — consistently have showed up for the boys’ court hearings.
“The compassion starts at home,” Newman said outside the courtroom. “Parents really need to know what’s going on with their children.”