Man charged in cat burning case appears in Middletown Municipal Court

High bond set for Middletown man accused of setting cat on fire

Kevin L Sullivan, 32, was arraigned Friday in Middletown Municipal Court on a felony charge of animal cruelty for the alleged September incident on Howard Avenue.

Judge Melynda Cook Howard set the stiff bond and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Dec. 8. Standard bond for such a fifth-degree felony is $5,000.

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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.

“There were no burn marks on the pads of the cat’s feet so the cat did not run through lighter fluid,” Hearlihy wrote in the complaint.

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.

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