WILMINGTON — A man was sentenced today for killing two very young kittens.
Daniel Eligha Knotts, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony animal cruelty in New Hanover Criminal Superior Court, according to a release from the office of District Attorney Ben David.
Knotts, a New Hanover resident, was arrested by Wilmington Police after receiving a report from someone living in Florida. Officer William Rose of the Wilmington Police responded to Knotts’ residence; there he found the bodies of two deceased kittens, Cali and Tiny, who were both only weeks old.
Knotts admitted killing the kittens to law enforcement.
Prosecutor Connie Jordan said: “The defendant entered a plea of guilty today as charged. We hope that serving time in jail and court-ordered participation in mental health treatment will compel Mr. Knotts to take a new path in the future. This criminal behavior is incredibly disturbing to say the least and an indication of future concerns; this is the reason the charges were not reduced and why the defendant received the maximum sentence under the law.”
As class H felonies, the maximum sentence for two counts of animal cruelty is 12 – 34 months suspended jail time and 60 months of supervised probation. Knotts will serve 75 days in jail prior to being released on probation. According to Connie Jordan, this is maximum amount of active jail time the court can sentence Knotts to under North Carolina law.
Knotts will also be required to submit to an evaluation of his mental health, he will also undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment. If prescribed any medication as part of his mental health evaluation, Knotts will be required to take that prescription as part of his probation agreement.
Knotts will not be allowed to possess or care for any animals while on probation.
North Carolina does not at present have a registry for animal abuse offenders.
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