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Teens convicted of killing kittens receive probation with several conditions
Activists rallied against animal cruelty as two teens were sentenced for drowning kittens. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Neighbors reacted Tuesday after two teens were convicted of drowning kittens. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Two teens convicted of drowning kittens found out their fate in court on Tuesday. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Demonstrators demanded justice outside of the courthouse as lawyers were cutting a deal inside. It's the case the whole community has been watching since the June 18 drowning of two newborn kittens in the backyard of a northwest Valley home.
Two high school students were caught by a neighbor holding the kittens down in a cup of water with a barbecue tool.
"What I think is important to not is the community has asked the court to take it seriously," Chief Deputy DA Michael Watson said in the courtroom Tuesday. "I have a stack of emails that I received in the last few days, over 20 phone calls just yesterday, all requesting the same thing: the maximum penalty."
The court stopped just short of that, imposing 30 days in jail followed by probation with more than a dozen conditions. It's the first case in Nevada to be sentenced under Cooney's Law, which makes first-time animal cruelty a felony.
Gina Greisen with Nevada Voters for Animals wrote the law.
"The fact that they're going to be in the system until they're 21 is something we pushed very hard for because I think it's important that we monitor the behavior and make sure that there isn't going to be any future issues," Greisen said.
The boys have already served 20 days. When they get out in a week and a half, they'll immediately be placed on house arrest until school starts. Their formal probation will include 12 months of intensive supervision with GPS monitoring. Conditions include 200 hours of community service, months of individual psychotherapy and family counseling and a $200 fine.
The teens have to give up their driver's licenses and take random drug tests. They can't have any weapons or use social media, computers or cell phones. They've been ordered to stay away from each other and others involved in the case.
Neither family can have any household pets under their care or control.
Each teen will also have to write a letter of apology to an animal rights group.
If they successfully complete their probation with no violations, their convictions could be reduced to misdemeanor animal cruelty.
"I think we definitely need to revisit what the juvenile penalties would be," Greisen said. "I believe in this case, based on what the judge had to work with within the law, that he did everything he could do."