A Florida teen who prosecutors said burned a cat to death and fed it to pit bulls won't serve any time in prison.
A teen is seen on video burning an animal alive in a cage. A police report states it’s a CAT, however, his family says it is a RACCOON that may have had rabies.— Laura Rodriguez (@LauraNBC6) March 7, 2019
TONIGHT at #11pm on @nbc6 - hear from his grandparents who tell me why the teen set the cage on fire. pic.twitter.com/uwzGc6n8iU
According to the Miami Herald, Roberto Hernandez, 19, of Miami, was sentenced Friday to 100 hours of community service and five years' probation after pleading guilty to a felony animal abuse charge.
Surveillance footage from the 2016 incident appears to show Hernandez, who was 17 at the time, lighting a caged animal on fire and watching it burn, the Herald reported. He then fed the animal to his dogs, prosecutors said.
Although a witness said the animal was a cat, Hernandez said it was a rabid raccoon, the Herald reported.
On Friday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Nushin Sayfie, who watched the video, said she thought Hernandez was telling the truth.
"I don't think jail time is appropriate," said Sayfie, who also stressed that a raccoon should not be "treated in that manner."
Sayfie also issued a "withhold of adjudication" instead of a conviction in the case, so he "won't be considered a felon," the Herald reported.
BREAKING: The South Miami-Dade teenager accused of setting a caged cat on fire and feeding it to his dogs won’t be going to jail. https://t.co/hOFfnuCnLr— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) March 8, 2019
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