A brutal case with a tiny victim, a young hero, and a young thug went to court yesterday and justice was weakly served.
Many readers will remember Little Heart, the tiny kitten beaten and abused at a Suffolk VA playground in broad daylight on Saturday, May 28, 2011. According to reports, Jamarea Mills and his brother were playing with a tiny 7 week old kitten when a bully came along and snatched the animal away from them. A group of children then looked on helplessly as the 12 year old boy callously and viciously brutalized the kitten for fun. When the tormenter pulled out a pocket knife and announced that he was about to “cut” the kitten, 9 year old hero Jamarea was compelled to act. He knocked the knife from the bully’s hands and the kitten was spared.
Jamarea and the other children carefully placed the kitten in a box to protect it from the elements in a gesture of respect, thinking it was dead. An Animal Control officer later came by, discovered the kitten was alive and took it to receive medical care and find protection at the local shelter. The kitten was initially determined to have a broken leg and bruised abdomen and lung but was expected to live and go to a good home.
Little Heart was rushed to the vet with breathing difficulties on the night of June 2, and died in the wee hours of the morning of Friday, June 3, the day he was supposed to go from foster care to his loving forever home.
After Little Heart’s death, the 12 year old killer’s charge was upgraded from a misdemeanor to felony animal cruelty when a necropsy verified that the kitten died as a result of injuries received that day at the playground.
Unfortunately, a point of law caused the charge to be downgraded back to a misdemeanor. Felony animal cruelty charges in that jurisdiction are reserved for companion animals, and Little Heart was designated to be a stray at the time of the brutal assault. So, in the eyes of the law, because Little heart did not have a home and people to love him at the time of the attack, his death is considered a less terrible act.
The perpetrator’s case went to court yesterday, and thanks to good investigation by Suffolk animal control, and diligence on the part of the prosecutor, the12 year old, whose identity is protected, was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge. Punishment, if we can call it that, will be specified at a later date, but will likely be “some form of rehabilitation or counseling” according to a report in the Suffolk News Herald.
In a move we have seen elsewhere with female prosecutors, the prosecutor seems somewhat sympathetic to the psychopath who tortured tiny, innocent Little Heart. While Susan Walton says she and her office are pleased to have gotten a conviction, she is quoted saying “To be that cruel, what concerns me is that you need to evaluate why that would happen and hopefully get him some help.” It is our opinion that society needs help in no longer being subjected to the perpetrator’s violent acts, and counseling will likely be of no use toward that end.
Ms. Walton praised the young witnesses, who were brave enough to come to court and stand their ground. Though the attacker denied his involvement, a 5 year old, an 8 year old, and two 9 year old all steadfastly kept to their original story, telling that the defendant committed the act.
The actual “punishment” will be handed down at a later date.
See more coverage at our index of Little Heart stories.