Man Kills Kitten in Front of Kids
Posted by shadmia on August 30, 2008
Danield John Collins, 39, an ex-navy veteran and an alcoholic can now add convicted felon to his resume. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail. Collins, who lives in Muncie, Ind., pleaded guilty to a felony count of animal cruelty and two felony counts of neglect of a dependent. In exchange, prosecutors dropped three other felony charges. What makes this case so horrible is that Collins was convicted of killing his 8-month-old tuxedo kitten, named Boots, in front of his two young kids.
It all began when the grandparents, who have custody of the two children (a 7-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy), dropped them off at their father’s house for a visit. The kids arrived to find that their father was drunk. According to the kids, their father was a different person when he is drunk. At some point during the visit the father passed out. When he awoke he ordered his 11-year-old son to stab the 8-month-old kitten. He gave him a knife and told him he wanted them to learn how to kill.
When Collins left to go to the bathroom, his son hid the kitten under a sofa bed and put ketchup on the knife in hopes of fooling his father into thinking the kitten was dead. When Collins realized that the kitten wasn’t dead, he searched for it and found it under the sofa bed. He then grabbed his 7-year-old daughter by the hand so “hard it ached” and still holding her hand, forced her to stab the kitten in the side.
Still not satisfied he took the knife from her and stabbed the kitten again. He then proceeded to strangle the kitten in front of the two of them. When the kitten was dead he told his son to pick it up and throw it in the garbage.
When the children returned home, they told family members what had happened. The police were called and Collins was arrested and held on $40,000 bail. The police were able to retrieve the dead kitten from the garbage as evidence. Authorities said Boots had suffered a broken leg, broken teeth, a bruised ear, a ripped lip and two stab wounds but died as a result of being strangled.
Muncie police Detective Jami Brown said the case was particularly troubling because Collins involved his children in killing the cat, an 8-month-old tuxedo type-cat named Boots. “I’ve been doing investigations for 10 years and this is really bothering me,” the detective said.
During his sentencing Collins said he could not remember exactly what happened that day but did not try to contradict the children’s story. “I am extremely sorry for what I did,” Danield J. Collins said. “Everything is my responsibility.”
Under the plea agreement, which sends him to jail for 18 months, Collins also must receive counseling and attend parenting classes and substance abuse treatment. The judge also prohibited Collins from owning a pet. “This is not civilized conduct,” Judge Robert Barnet Jr. said as he sentenced Collins.
Deputy Prosecutor Judi Calhoun said she was outraged by the crime but agreed to the plea deal so that the children would not have to testify against their father. Defense attorney Steve Bruce said Collins, a Navy veteran, has no previous felony convictions.