A Dallas man was sentenced on June 27 to 10 years in prison for killing his girlfriend’s kitten. A jury convicted Edwon Julian, 36, of felony animal cruelty, and he’ll have to serve at least five years before becoming eligible for parole.
In the same incident, Julian was acquitted of assaulting Rosa Dismuke, who was his girlfriend at the time. This isn’t his first run-in with the law. Julian had a previous conviction in 2004 when a 3-year-old girl he was babysitting was scalded. In that case, prosecutors stated Julian held the girl in boiling water until her skin started to fall off. The defense said Julian only left the girl unattended with the hot water nearby.
The kitten named Kisses was killed last July during an argument between Julian and Dismuke. An investigation later showed Julian had grabbed the kitten by the tail and swung it off the second-story balcony. The kitten hit a drainpipe, then landed on the pavement, where it died shortly after.
Prosecutors had hoped the sentence for Kisses death would include a 20-year prison sentence. For this to occur, State District Judge Larry Mitchell would have to enhance the sentence on the grounds that the sidewalk which causes the kittens death was a deadly weapon. This, coupled with the kitten killers prior record, could have gotten him the longer sentence.
Animal activists following the case from the beginning were present Thursday for the sentencing. They believe that although Julian didn’t get the maximum sentence, this was still justice in that more than a slap on the wrist was handed to an animal abuser.
Julian is reported to have bowed his head several times during the jury trial. Whether it was in remorse for killing the kitten, or the fact he would now be incarcerated for at least the next five years is unknown.
This is a troubling case on several counts. For one, the sidewalk should have been considered a weapon. Hitting the sidewalk is what killed the kitten. More than this, the previous charges involving the 3-year-old child in 2004 is only the beginning of a violent pattern shown by Julian. The court system should have locked him up for a long time for what happened to that little girl. Then to acquit him on the assault charges is only reinforcing the fact that abusers get away with abuse toward a significant other on a daily basis.
To assault a child, then a kitten, then a girlfriend is a dangerous pattern prison isn’t likely to correct. Eventually this man will be back out walking the streets, assaulting women (or men) and at risk to any animal that crosses his path.
What do you think of this conviction? It’s a step in the right direction, but comes far short of what the judge could have done. Julian should have been made an example of and given the maximum of 20 years. Perhaps the judge will realize that when he’s eventually free and commits a crime much worse than felony animal cruelty.