Layton man arrested after cat abuse caught on video

May 16 2013 - 6:48am



LAYTON -- A 30-year-old Layton man is facing a felony charge for torturing a cat that belonged to his girlfriend's daughter, police say.

A third-degree felony charge was filed in 2nd District Court on Wednesday against Donald Aaron Hawes.

Layton Police Lt. Shawn Horton said the woman noticed the cat was not acting normal.

She then set up a video camera and caught Hawes abusing the cat. She called police, and they in turn called Davis County Animal Services to send an officer to the home.

But a Layton police officer arrived before the animal control officer and Hawes admitted to abusing the cat to the Layton police officer, Horton said.

Hawes was arrested and booked in Davis County Jail on May 4. He has since posted bail.

The Davis County Attorney's Office filed the formal charges in 2nd District Court. No court hearing has been set.

According to the court document, Hawes admitted to taking the girl's cat from under the bed, "grabbed it by the neck and began to squeeze until the cat could no longer breathe."

Hawes then put the cat on the bed and pressed on the cat's stomach "with the intent to kill it," according to the court document. He then "threw the cat against the wall in a further attempt to kill it."

The Utah Legislature changed the law in 2008 making torture of a companion animal -- a domesticated dog or cat -- a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

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