PASADENA, Texas—A Pasadena man has been sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty to killing a kitten belonging to a 9-year-old girl.
Ricardo Payta-Brondo, 31, was at the Harris County courthouse Tuesday after he admitted to killing the animal back in January.
The girl, Michele Arizpe, told jurors she was playing in a courtyard at her Pasadena apartment complex, when Payta-Brondo cornered her cat, wrapped it in a towel and took it into his apartment.
"The defendant in this case, took the little girl’s cat and hit it with his hand and feet until its head was distorted," said prosecutor Belinda Smith.
The child, then only eight, watched as he took the cat in a garbage bag and placed it in a dumpster. It was all the result of stress at home and at work, according to his attorney.
"He goes into work at five in the morning.The cat was constantly scratching at his window, waking him up, keeping him up all night. Concurrently, he was having family problems with his wife. Everything just kind of boiled up in one action. Something that he’s sorry for," said defense attorney Ralph Alvarez.
From the witness stand, Payta-Brondo told jurors his wife left him after the incident. He also asked for forgiveness, but added the same thing could have happened to anyone at any time.
A jury took less than an hour to decide his fate.
"Particularly tragic about this case is that we’ve got two victims here. Obviously the kitten, but we have a little girl who has been introduced to violence so early in her life," said Smith.