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Judges uphold felony conviction for kicking cat

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an Allen County man’s conviction of Class D felony torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, finding sufficient evidence that the man knowingly or intentionally mutilated a cat that somehow got into his house.

Larry Knox tried to get the cat out by opening the front door and kicking it outside. He kicked the cat so hard that it knocked out the cat’s front tooth, causing it to go flying out of its mouth. The cat then ran into the bedroom, where he chased it and kicked it a couple more times. Then Knox called animal control.

Knox told the animal control officer that he didn’t like cats and that he was not threatened by the cat. He even joked how far the tooth had flown from the cat. A veterinarian who examined the cat said it would take a lot of force to knock out the tooth and the cat must have been sitting or crouched down when the incident occurred. Based on the cat’s behavior, the veterinarian and animal control officer concluded she was not feral.

Knox argued that he kicked the cat only after it “came straight at me,” but he was found guilty and sentenced to one year in the Department of Correction.

In Larry D. Knox v. State of Indiana, 02A03-1312-CR-491, the Court of Appeals noted that the mens rea element of I.C. 35-46-3-12(c), under which Knox was found guilty, has not been addressed by an Indiana appellate court yet. But it’s been well established that a person engages in conduct intentionally if, when he engages in the conduct, it is his conscious objective to do so. And engaging in conduct “knowingly” occurs when the person is aware of a high probability that he is engaging in the conduct.

The evidence most favorable to the judgment shows that Knox knowingly or intentionally mutilated the cat. The judges declined to reweigh the evidence, noting they are in no position to challenge the fact-finder’s assessment of Knox’s credibility on appeal.  
 

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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

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  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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