A Butler County grand jury will now consider the case of a Middletown man charged with felony animal cruelty after he allegedly set a cat on fire.
Kevin L. Sullivan, 32, appeared Friday in Middletown Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing, but he gave up that right and the case was sent directly to grand jury by Judge Melynda Cook Howard.
Sullivan’s bond of $50,000 set by the judge last week was continued. Standard bond for such a fifth-degree felony is $5,000.
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.