Photo courtesy of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
A Miami-Dade teenager appeared for sentencing on Friday after setting a caged cat on fire and then feeding it to his pit bulls. The judge ordered him to serve 100 hours of community service and complete a 5-year probation term.
Roberto Hernandez, then 17, is seen on a grainy video lighting matches and flicking them on the animal until a fireball erupts. The caged cat then thrashes in pain for a few minutes as Hernandez watches.
Prosecutors wanted him to serve at least 364 days in jail, plus five years of probation. Defense lawyers claim the animal burned was a raccoon, not a cat. They also believe court-ordered therapy would rehabilitate the troubled teen instead of serving jail time.
The disturbing incident happened July 10, 2016, at the Hernandez family’s rural property on the 16600 block of Southwest 174th Avenue. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Nushin Sayfie is scheduled to decide Hernandez's punishment during a hearing on March 14th.
"It should be instinctively known to the average man of his age that burning an animal alive is wrong. He appears he has no regard to the pain and suffering of animals," said Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Nicole Garcia.