3 men arrested in cemetery plead guilty to animal cruelty
DOWNEY -- Three men, one wearing a black, hooded cloak. A black kitten in a bag with its legs tied together and a puncture wound in its hip. A knife, candles, a wax skull, daggers, four roosters in boxes.
Painted in red on a nearby animal skin were the words "Beelzebub Jefe Supremo.'
That's the scene police came upon in a cemetery early New Year's morning.
Now, authorities are trying to find a home for the kitten they call Nuevo and three men are facing time behind bars.
Police discovered the cat at about 1 a.m. New Year's Day in the Downey Cemetery. Three men found with the cat were arrested, according to the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority.
Downey Police Officer Chris Maher approached the men and saw a bag hanging from a tree. When he looked in the bag, he found Nuevo, whose front and back legs were tied up, according to SEAACA Cpl. Charles Miller.
The men, one of whom was wearing a black, hooded cloak, told the officer they planned to kill the feline, according to a written statement from SEAACA.
On Tuesday, the three men pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.
Miguel Capistran Flores, 26, of Los Angeles and Dimas Martinez Sanchez, 33, of Los Angeles were sentenced to one year in jail, according to Miller.
Camarino Reyes, 57, of Lynwood was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years' probation, according to Miller.
"Usually, when you see these types of incidents, it's usually teenagers,' he said. "But these were adults. To me, I guess that makes this even more alarming. I can't say enough how happy we were with the sentence.'
For having almost been sacrificed, Nuevo on Thursday was in good spirits at the SEAACA headquarters in Downey.
The long, lean kitten with white back paws snuggled with the pound's employees and burrowed through plants in the facility's visiting area.
He had what appeared to be rope burns on his legs and a small scar on his hip, but he did not seem to be in pain.
"You'd think after something like that, he'd be a little scared,' Miller said. "But he's just looking for some affection.'