BUFFALO, NEW YORK: A Buffalo man is facing multiple charges after he reportedly killed his children's cat and then sent them pictures of the dead feline.
The gruesome incident came to light on the night of September 7, when Buffalo police received a 911 call from a woman who said that her ex-husband, 40-year-old Antonio Martin, had killed a cat in an apartment on Carolina Street, according to the Buffalo News.
On their arrival, responding officers found the cat dead in a bedroom. It had been strung up with a black electrical cord wrapped around its neck and suspended from his children's bunk bed. After hanging the cat, Martin allegedly sent photos of the dead animal to three of his children, including a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old.
Investigators said Martin confessed to killing the cat upstairs in the apartment when questioned. He was subsequently arrested and charged with one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony, and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a misdemeanor.
Police also confiscated his phone for examination and scheduled a necropsy for the cat to confirm the cause of death. An incident report filed in connection to the case does not give a possible motive for why Martin killed the cat or why he sent the disturbing images of it hanging to his children.
Authorities are reportedly looking into the prior domestic history between the 40-year-old and his ex-wife for an explanation, and are also working closely with investigators from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Martin was arraigned at the Buffalo City Court on his charges on September 8 and pleaded not guilty to his charges, according to court records.
He was released on his own recognizance by City Court Judge Andrew C. LoTempio and is scheduled to make his next appearance in court on September 19. If convicted of his charges, he could face a maximum of two years behind bars.