Call Out Judge Who Let Kitten Decapitator Walk Free

Call Out Judge Who Let Kitten Decapitator Walk Free

Yet another infuriating sentence has been handed down for a violent act of animal cruelty in Mississippi. This time, a judge has let a man who decapitated a kitten with a machete walk free. Please call out this judge for his outrageously lenient sentencing of this violent individual. 

John Sean Swoveland was arrested on May 29, 2019, for brutally cutting off a kitten’s head with a machete in front of the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society. On October 29, 2019, Swoveland admitted in court to slaying the kitten. He claimed that he became frustrated because veterinarians weren’t open, and the shelter was unattended. 

However, two shelter workers were present and witnessed Swoveland swinging his machete to decapitate the kitten from the doorway of the shelter. These staff workers found the decapitated kitten after Swoveland left the shelter, and used his mug shot to identify him to police. The license plate of the vehicle Swoveland was seen leaving the shelter in was confirmed to be his. 

Swoveland, no stranger to the criminal system, was charged under Mississippi State Statute § 97-41-16. Maliciously injuring dogs or cats (2.) (b.) the offense of aggravated cruelty to a dog or cat. For committing this unspeakably heinous crime, John Sean Swoveland left the Natchez, Mississippi municipal court with a shockingly lenient sentence. 

Although this appalling act was punishable by up to a $2,500 fine and up to a six-month jail term, this deranged individual walked away with just a $375 fine and six months of probation. 

After court continuances, Swoveland got a fraction of the penalty for this horrific crime and spent no time in jail as his boss bailed him out on a $2,000 bond. Municipal Court Judge Pro Tempore Tony Heidelberg even allowed Swoveland’s boss at Smith’s Body Shop to “donate” $1,000 to the Humane Society in lieu of Swoveland’s community service. 

What You Can Do: 

Join us in calling out Municipal Court Pro Tempore Judge Tony Heidelberg for the pathetic sentence he so casually handed a man who beat and chopped off a kitten’s head. We must let Judge Heidelberg know he has undermined the justice system and his duty to serve and protect his community by failing to deliver maximum sentencing to this dangerous, violent individual.

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