Middletown man accused of setting cat on fire competent to stand trial

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Man who allegedly set fire to a cat waives right to preliminary hearing

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Middletown man facing a felony charge of animal cruelty for allegedly setting a cat on fire has been found competent to stand trial.

A pre-trial hearing for Kevin L. Sullivan, 32, was held Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, where Judge Charles Pater declared him competent to stand trial based on the results of a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

Sullivan is free on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to return to court May 15, when a trial date will likely be set.

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Middletown police and Butler County Deputy Dog Warden Jamie Hearlihy were dispatched Sept. 18 to Howard Avenue near Arlington Avenue, where the fire department had put out the cat that was ablaze.

A police officer shot the cat to put it out of its misery, according to a police report.

Samples taken from the cat and the blanket used to smother the fire indicated that lighter fluid was used, according to court records.

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Police said Sullivan initially lied to them about his involvement, but an investigation by Middletown police and the dog warden’s office led back to him as a suspect.

Sullivan was indicted by a Butler County grand jury in January on the fifth-degree felony.

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