(Incredibly disturbing, do not read if easily upset)
Man pleads guilty to killing child's kitten
A Redwood City man faces up to 16 months in prison for killing a kitten named Pucci that belonged to a 4-year-old girl.
Jesus Calderon-Franco, 33, will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty Wednesday to felony animal abuse, said Deputy District Attorney Sean Dabel.
The sad tale began on Nov. 30 when Calderon-Franco, who had been drinking, became angry when he noticed crayon marks on the bathroom door of his apartment, apparently drawn by his roommate's 4-year-old daughter. The girl and her father were out at the store.
The roommate's brother was visiting and told police that in his anger, Calderon-Franco snatched Pucci by the neck and squeezed. He then threw the kitten off the second-floor balcony, Dabel said.
The two men went outside to look, "and the defendant says he's going to 'finish the cat off,' " Dabel said.
"The witness saw him stomp the kitten to death," he said.
At first, Calderon-Franco told the roommate and his daughter that the kitten had run away. But blood on the ground led to the discovery of Pucci's body in a trash can, and the police and Peninsula County Humane Society were called.
"This type of conduct is completely reprehensible," Dabel said. "This case is one of the worst we've seen for some time in San Mateo County."
Sentencing is set for Jan. 28, 2009. Under a plea bargain, Calderon-Franco will escape a harsher sentence of up to three years.
Neverthless, Dabel said, police take animal abuse cases especially seriously in part because those who are willing to abuse animals "time and time again have shown a track record of committing violence against family members or others.
"You've got to get right on it because it can be the tip of the iceberg."