Activists lash out at teen accused of torturing kitten
By Eric Flack
By Eric Flack
LA GRANGE, KY (WAVE) - A teenager accused in a horrific case of animal abuse appeared in a tense courtroom Wednesday.
Animal right activists waited outside the Oldham County Courthouse with signs that called for the end of animal abuse. They then took their frustration inside.
"There's the young Jeffrey Dahmer now," one protester could be heard saying as Tanner Hublar, 18, faced a judge for the first time for his alleged role in the brutal killing of a two-and-a-half-month-old kitten.
Hublar told us it was just a tragic accident. "I think the fact that it has gotten as big as it has definitely puts an image on me that I really don't like," Hublar said, "and a lot of people don't know the situation."
On June 15, prosecutors said two of Hublar's teenage friends stole the kitten from an Oldham County barn, took him to a nearby home, then tortured and killed him.
"This particular act is despicable," said Michelle Culp, President of the Humane Society of Oldham County. "But it's a sign of what's happening in our county."
Investigators said Hublar was tossing the kitten into the air and into a pool for fun.
"It was a stupid choice on my part," Hublar said. "Mainly, we were playing around. At the time, I hadn't realized how high I had thrown it."
The kitten missed the pool and hit a hard surface, possibly a rock on the ground, severely injuring it. Hublar said he went inside to comfort a girlfriend who was upset about what happened when his 17-year-old friend, who believed the kitten was paralyzed, decided to "put it out of its misery."
"And I had come back out and the minor said that he had slammed it on the concrete and stabbed it," Hublar said.
Prosecutors said the kitten was stabbed it with a garden fork. They have added felony torture of an animal to Hublar's list of charges, which also includes cruelty to animals and criminal trespass.
"I have two dogs and we love animals ourselves," Hublar said, "so it's not like the intent was to hurt anything or anybody."
The remorse did not ring true with Lynne Robinson, the kitten's owner. "I don't think there is any getting through to him," Robinson said. "Less than jail time, I don't think there is any getting through to this boy."
And Robinson's sister-in-law, Beth Caldwell, said the following to Hublar as he left the courtroom: "When you murder a kitten I have a problem with you."
Then, Caldwell said to her husband, "Let's go, because I can't stand looking at him."
The 17-year-old who allegedly struck the final blow by stabbing the kitten with the garden fork faces the misdemeanor cruelty to animals charge but not the more serious felony torture charge that was filed against Hublar.
Oldham County Police spokesperson Mike Head said that could change.
Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.