Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18043
Classification: Shooting
Animal: cat
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

County: Douglas

Disposition: Acquitted
Case Images: 3 files available

Person of Interest: Jimmy R. Wilkins

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

The cat's name is now Bullet.

And staff members at the Lawrence Humane Society hope he has a new home soon after the 2-year-old cat was rescued by animal control officers from a trap in northern Lawrence. He had been shot twice.

"He is such a survivor. He's an amazing cat," said Kayse Aschenbrenner, the Humane Society's director of animal welfare. "You would never guess he went through such a traumatic ordeal."

Jimmy R. Wilkins, 73, faces a case in Lawrence Municipal Court on charges of animal cruelty and discharging a firearm in the city limits, City Prosecutor Jerry Little said.

Sgt. Matt Sarna, a Lawrence police spokesman, said police assisted animal control officers May 29 in the 100 block of Michigan Street when officers found the injured cat inside a trap on the side of a residence. A witness had alleged he heard a neighbor shoot what sounded like a gun earlier in the day and observed the cat in the trap.

The cat, who is black with little spots of white and believed to be a stray, was taken to the Humane Society and later taken to a veterinary clinic.

Police eventually wrote Wilkins a citation, Little said, and he has a hearing scheduled for June 28.

Aschenbrenner said the veterinarian was able to remove one bullet from the cat, and staff members hoped Bullet could be adopted in the next month if someone shows interest.

Aschenbrenner thought Bullet had at one time served as someone's pet but had been on the streets for awhile, although she said he has shown good social tendencies during his time in the shelter.

The Humane Society says Bullet will be available for adoption by the end of the month. If you are interested in adopting him, you can contact the shelter here.

Case Updates

On Thursday morning, a very relieved Jimmy Wilkins emerged from municipal court. He had just been found not guilty of animal cruelty and of firing a gun within city limits. "I just want to say that I'm not guilty of this cat killing they accused me of and it got proven in court," says Wilkins.

The 73-year-old was accused of committing the crime last May. The cat, later named Bullet, was found by a police officer in the 1000 block of Michigan Street in a cage on Wilkins' property. Bullet was taken to the Lawrence Humane society for surgery and survived, but the family says they were at a bar-b-q at the time of the incident.

During the municipal court trial on Thursday, the city called two witnesses to the stand. The first witness was the officer who responded to the crime, who says he took a statement from Stan Buckner, the neighbor who implicated Wilkins. Buckner took the stand and said he heard two shots fired and saw Wilkins with a 22 automatic. But further testimony shows a gun was never actually found and law enforcement never found a bullet in the cat. For those reasons, the judge found Wilkins not guilty.

Now, Wilkins is happy. "I feel like it come out right, and I feel good about it."
Source: - Mar 1, 2012
Update posted on Mar 1, 2012 - 5:30PM 


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