Punishment could vary for teens accused of drowning kittens
Two teenagers are in juvenile detention, facing animal cruelty charges after being accused of drowning kittens in a cup of water. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Two teenagers are in juvenile detention and are facing animal cruelty charges after being accused of drowning kittens in a cup of water.
Contact 13 has been investigating the story since a tip first came into the newsroom last week.
Cellphone photos taken by a neighbor show one dead kitten laying on a backyard bar. The other picture shows a kitten submerged in a cup of water.
The teenage boys -- who the neighbor claims are responsible -- were arrested Wednesday. They each face two counts of felony animal cruelty. Las Vegas police are also recommending a charge of conspiracy.
This is the first case of its kind here in Southern Nevada in which juveniles face felony charges for animal cruelty. A law passed in the last legislative session requires any animal cruelty offender be charged as a felon, regardless of age or criminal history.
In adult criminal court, the boys would be facing one to four years in prison. But because they are minors, it's not the same protocol.
"It's a bit different because we don't convict juveniles, we adjudicate and try to rehabilitate them," says Clark County Deputy District Attorney Brigid Duffy. "It's more of a holistic approach for minors. We look at whether the child has prior offenses. Punishment can be anything from probation, to time at a youth detention center."
Duffy says counseling will also be mandatory for both boys. Their first court appearance is at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 28.