Covina : Animal Cruelty Conviction

One of two youths arrested in connection with a string of cat mutilations in March and April has pleaded guilty in Pomona Juvenile Court to three felony counts of cruelty to an animal.

Pomona Deputy Dist. Atty. Thomas Falls said the 16-year-old Covina youth, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 15. He faces a maximum punishment of four years and four months in detention at a California Youth Authority facility.

The youth's 17-year-old co-defendant pleaded not guilty at the same hearing Tuesday and is scheduled to stand trial in Juvenile Court Aug. 11 on seven felony counts of cruelty to an animal, Falls said.

The two youths were arrested April 25 in connection with the mutilation of at least seven cats in the Covina area. Some of the cats' bodies were dumped in a Covina schoolyard with satanic symbols scrawled in blood on a nearby wall.

Falls said the mutilations were partly related to a dispute the youths had with their church group.

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