An Orange County man has been indicted for aggravated cruelty to animals for putting a cat and a kitten in a cage and setting them on fire, according to Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler.
According to the DA's Office, Dee Jay Atkins, 55, of Newburgh, was arraigned Thursday, for an incident that took place in August in which he doused a cat and a kitten, who were in a cage, with lighter fluid and set them on fire, killing them.
The cats did not belong to Atkins. The indictment also alleges that Atkins failed to make a court appearance in the Newburgh City Court in connection with the case.
Hoovler thanked the City of Newburgh Police Department for their investigation and the initial arrest of Atkins, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for the arrest of Atkins after he failed to appear in court.
“Killing a caged animal by setting it on fire is an unfathomable act of wanton cruelty,” said Hoovler. “Anyone who would engage in such conduct deserves severe punishment. I commend the City of Newburgh Police Department for their investigation of this case. My office will continue to seek felony convictions and meaningful incarceration on cases involving aggravated cruelty to animals.”
Bail was set in County Court in the amount of $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond, and the case is next scheduled for June 7.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Maryellen Albanese
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