BRACKENRIDGE, Pa. - A man who police say broke into his neighbor’s home, stole their cat and then set it on fire was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday.
Investigators said 23-year-old Justin Bartlett was angry at Mouse’s owner, Rich Marvin, so he broke into his Brackenridge home through a skylight, grabbed Mouse and set him on fire.
“He was burned alive. The officers found a melted cat whenever I discovered the body of the cat,” Marvin said.
Police said they were able to track Mouse by his pawprints in the snow. He collapsed and died just 25 feet from where he was set on fire.
After admitting to the crime, Bartlett begged the judge for leniency.
“If I would go home today, I would enroll in classes,” Bartlett told the judge.
But, according to Channel 11’s Alan Jennings, Judge Anthony Mariani called Bartlett “a violent person who hurts people and pets.”
“After you burned the cat alive, you beat your girlfriend with an ice scraper,” Mariani said. “It’s outrageous conduct and I would send you to a state prison if the statute allowed it.”
Marvin told Jennings that he and Bartlett were once friends, but that changed when he caught him trying to sneak into his home through a bedroom window.
“I’d come and random things would be missing from the house,” Marvin said.
Marvin also said the last year has been tough because he misses Mouse a lot.
“He was always there. Everyday I’d come home and he’d be sitting at the door waiting,” Marvin said.
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