A Cedar Springs man rolled the dice and lost.
Michael Patrick Stackhouse, 35, killed a cat outside his home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last April. He was reportedly offered a plea deal in May that would reduce his sentence if he pled guilty to a charge of animal cruelty causing death. Under the plea deal, he would not be charged as a multiple felony offender, which could have reduced his sentence. But he rejected the deal, and instead decided he wanted a jury trial.
His decision backfired this week when he was convicted by that jury on the animal cruelty charge. He was remanded to jail immediately to await sentencing.
It started on April 7, when a call came into police dispatch, with the caller telling them that a cat had jumped over a partial door barrier to their mobile home on Susan Street, and then went inside the home and was fighting with their dogs. Later the caller said the cat was dead and that her husband may have killed it.
When officers investigated, they found that the man had thrown the cat into the street, in front of children and neighbors. He admitted to then stomping on the cat’s head, because it was twitching from seizures.
Stackhouse never denied he did it. He told reporters that he did it to put it out of its misery.
Killing and torturing an animal is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. As a two-time felony offender, the judge could sentence him prison time up to eight years. Under the plea deal, he would have faced no more than a year in jail.
He is scheduled to be sentenced November 18.