HOUSTON, Texas — A 22-year-old Houston man was sentenced to six years in prison for stomping his girlfriend’s orange tabby cat to death, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.
Javontae Isaiah Thrasher pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced Tuesday to prison after prosecutors argued he should be behind bars. Defense lawyers for Thrasher argued that he deserved probation.
He was convicted of felony cruelty to animals, punishable with between two and 10 years in jail, after an incident where he and his girlfriend were breaking up at their Northshore apartment on January 25, 2019.
Thrasher’s girlfriend tried to leave with the cat in her arms when he knocked the tabby to the ground in front of the apartment. A witness across the street said she heard a cat yelling, then saw Thrasher kick the cat, “like a soccer ball.” Then, the witness told police, she saw Thrasher stomp the cat six or seven times until it stopped moving. He then picked up the body and put it in a dumpster.
“Hurting an innocent pet like this is a horrific and violent act that is almost unspeakable,” Ogg said. “This man viciously attacked a helpless cat and has a history that includes pushing his own great-grandmother down.”
The witness who saw the incident called police who interviewed Thrasher. Thrasher told authorities that he was arguing with his girlfriend and became angry enough to hit, then stomp the cat.
Thrasher was arrested and charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal by torture, a third-degree felony. Because he was convicted two years ago for injury of an elderly for assaulting his 72-year-old great-grandmother, Thrasher faced a maximum punishment of 20 years.
“This is a case that shows the direct link between animal abuse and violence toward other people,” said Jessica Milligan, the head of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Section.
“Someone who can hurt his own great-grandmother, then kill a cat in a domestic dispute is someone who is capable of violent behavior against people, including children, in the future. We take that seriously, and we are grateful the judge took this seriously as well.”