MEDIA RELEASE: ADA Vows to Bring Snapchat Kitten Killers to Justice
OXFORD, Miss. (Oct. 19, 2022) — In Defense of Animals, the international animal advocacy organization operating Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County, and the Justice for Animals Campaign in Montgomery County, supports Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Kilpatrick in her commitment to the prosecution of Snapchat kitten killers.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director Doll Stanley and Cyd Dunlap of Tubbs Spay and Neuter Project met with ADA Kilpatrick at the Lafayette County Courthouse in Oxford, Miss., today. They presented a letter to her with 16,526 signatures from an In Defense of Animals alert supporting her prosecution of Carl Travis Jr. and Dontavious Smith who brutally killed four kittens and posted videos to Snapchat.
“Cases of animal cruelty like this in Mississippi and across the country are deeply troubling and raise serious concerns about how offenders will escalate their violent behavior. While disturbing, videos depicting horrors posted on social media provide an opportunity to apprehend an abuser, preventing the torment of future victims,” said Stanley.
In Defense of Animals is pleased to learn the ADA is hoping to set a precedent with this case, and will not accept a plea deal. Instead, she is seeking jail time for both offenders and said the organization’s letters of support would be very influential in sentencing.
Travis and Smith were each indicted on four felony charges for acting in concert to unlawfully, willfully, feloniously, and intentionally torture, mutilate, maim, crush, and disfigure four kittens in violation of section 97-47-16(2)(b) of the Mississippi Code of 1972, strengthened in 2020.
Animal advocates will present the letter and signatures to the court at the sentencing phase of their trial. ADA Kilpatrick has assured her constituents that she intends to seek incarceration for both men.
Travis was identified as sadistically and methodically torturing four kittens while Smith videoed him. The men proudly posted the video to Snapchat on July 25, 2022. The Oxford Police Department swiftly obtained an arrest warrant for Travis, and in cooperation with the Grenada Police Department, arrested Travis on July 26, in or about his family’s Grenada residence.
Travis met his $5,000 bond and was bound over to the grand jury at his arraignment. Smith was later identified, arrested, and bound over to the grand jury. Both men were indicted by the grand jury on Sept. 26, and will stand trial.
For each count, Travis and Smith each face a $5,000 fine, incarceration for up to three years, or both. Additionally, the men could be ordered to undergo a psychiatric or psychological evaluation at their expense, perform community service, and be enjoined from owning and living or working with cats or dogs.
Although videos depicting animal cruelty are undoubtedly disturbing, they often lead to the arrest and conviction of offenders who are almost certainly engaging in such vile crimes, whether they post them to social media or not.
In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign has defended and saved thousands of animals, assisting through cruelty investigations, strengthening laws, and enforcing animal cruelty statutes and ordinances in the mid-south for 29 years.
Images and Video (Warning: video contains graphic content): https://bit.ly/SnapchatKittens
Contact: Doll Stanley, [email protected], (662) 809-4483
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/justice4animals
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