Kitten stomper due in court

December 10, 2008 1:54:39 PM PST
A 33-year-old man accused of stomping his roommate's daughter's kitten to death in late November is due to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon, a deputy district attorney said.

Jesus Calderon-Franco faces two felony counts of animal abuse for the Nov. 30 incident and could spend up to three years in prison if convicted, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Calderon-Franco allegedly killed the 4-year-old girl's kitten, named "Pucci," because he was angry she had drawn on the bathroom door, Wagstaffe said.

The roommate and his daughter were out shopping on Nov. 30 when Calderon-Franco became angry about the drawings. The roommate's brother was at the apartment at the time and allegedly witnessed Calderon-Franco grab "Pucci" by the neck and throw the kitten off the second-story balcony, according to Wagstaffe.

He then allegedly shouted that he was going to kill the animal, walked outside to where the kitten was and stomped on it, Wagstaffe said.

The roommate's brother called the roommate, who returned home and confronted Calderon-Franco. He denied attacking the animal, Wagstaffe said. But the roommate saw blood on the sidewalk and found his

daughter's kitten dead in a nearby trashcan, according to Wagstaffe. A necropsy indicated the kitten died from multiple fractures to the body, Wagstaffe said.

Calderon-Franco faces one count of animal cruelty and one count of cruelty to an animal of another, Wagstaffe said.

Wagstaffe called the killing "cruel" since the attack not only left the kitten dead but also likely emotionally traumatized the 4-year-old girl.

"You're not just trying to harm the animal, you're trying to harm the child," Wagstaffe said.

Calderon-Franco has maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court on Dec. 2, according to Wagstaffe.

Calderon-Franco is scheduled to appear in court for a superior court review conference at 1:30 p.m., Wagstaffe said.


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