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Friday, May 25, 2012County: Orleans
Charges: Felony CTA
Defendant/Suspect: Richard A. Keihl, Jr.
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
Investigators say there was no apparent reason why a town of Yates man drop-kicked and killed a kitten in front of a little girl while at an apartment complex on Baker Road last month.
Richard A. Keihl Jr., 30, of 1814 East Townline Rd. was charged last week with felony aggravated cruelty to an animal and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child after an investigation by Sgt. Dean Covis into the May 25 incident. The cruelty charge is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Keihl was visiting his girlfriend at Heritage Meadows Apartments when he picked up the kitten and "punted it."
"A little girl saw it happen," Major Thomas Drennan said. "He's been seen by other tenants doing similar things."
The kitten was killed. It was one of two kittens from a cat owned by a tenant in the complex, Drennan said.
Keihl was arraigned in Town Court and was committed to Orleans County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Keihl has been released after someone posted bail, an official at the jail said Tuesday morning.
Keihl is a frequent visitor to the apartment complex but in December an order of protection barred him from contact with his girlfriend after a violent domestic incident at her apartment.
He was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, second-degree harassment and menacing on Dec. 16.
Drennan said the order of protection was lifted at some point so Keihl was not in violation of a court order when he was at the complex May 25.
Keihl now, however, is barred from the complex because of the new charges.
A judge issued an order barring him from being at Heritage Meadows.
|An Orleans County jury has ruled that Richard Keihl acted with unjustified cruelty by causing fatal injuries to a three-month-old kitten last year.|
Keihl, 31, Yates was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals and endangering the welfare of a child after jurors returned a unanimous verdict after an hour of deliberations Friday.
The three-day trial hinged not on the injuries suffered by the kitten, which were presented without rebuttal, but instead on a pair of conflicting narratives about Keihl's whereabouts on Memorial Day weekend.
According to the testimony of Jordan Gulczewski, Keihl was at the Heritage Meadows apartment complex during that weekend. She told jurors that he picked up a kitten from his girlfriend's garden, walked it to the parking lot and drop kicked it; before kicking it again.
The cat limped away but was found dead later that weekend, having suffered trauma to it's head, neck and arms.
Keihl's family testified that he spent that weekend with friends and family at a cookout, a birthday party and relaxation at his parent's house.
"The kitten was injured in some way ... but what's at issue is how it happened and who did it," Attorney Larry Koss, who represented Keihl, said in his summation. "Timeframes are important."
Jurors sided with the case brought by District Attorney Joe Cardone, who called Keihl's actions were "unjustifiable and senseless." In his summation, Cardone said the motives of the witnesses was the key point for jurors to consider.
"It comes down to credibility. Is Jordan Gulczewski telling the truth, or are Charlene Keihl and Jodi Hughson," Cardone said in his summation to jurors.
"Jordan had no motive to come up with this story; she's a brave little girl," Cardone continued. "With Jodi Hughson and Charlene Keihl, I think it's what they wanted to believe â€" it's not what happened."
Keihl faces up to two years in prison for the cruelty conviction. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 29.
|Source: Journal-Register - March 4, 2013|
Update posted on Mar 5, 2013 - 11:39PM
|The fate of a man accused of kicking a kitten to death at a Carlton apartment complex last May will be placed in the hands of a jury Friday.|
Judge James Punch said Thursday that a 12-person jury will be asked to deliberate on aggravated cruelty to animals and endangering the welfare of a child charges against Richard Keihl.
The jury heard Thursday from conflicting witnesses to Keihl's whereabouts on the Memorial Day weekend of 2012 as well as testimony on an autopsy performed on the animal.
Keihl, 31, Yates, was arrested in June after allegedly causing the injuries that led to the three-month-old tabby cat's eventual death.
Dr. Sean P. McDonough of Cornell University, the veterinary pathologist who performed an autopsy of the cat, testified Thursday that its body had a "pattern of bruises from at least two bouts of trauma."
According to the testimony of Jordan Gulczewski, who lived at the Heritage Meadows Apartments, Keihl injured the cat on the afternoon of May 26 while he was at the apartment he shared with his girlfriend and her children.
"He picked up a little kitten from the garden and brought it to the sidewalk ... and punted it," said Gulczewski, who testified that she observed the incident. "He picked it up (again) and kicked it into a dumpster."
Gulczewski, 12, said Keihl then walked over to her, saying "you little brat, you've seen nothing."
That recollection conflicted with those made by Jodi Hughson, Keihl's girlfriend. Hughson said that Keihl was away from the apartment complex during the day on both May 26 and May 27, spending both afternoon's at his mother's Yates-Carlton Townline Road home.
Charlene Keihl agreed with Hughson's timeline of her son's whereabouts.
"How is he supposed to have done this if he was at my house all weekend," Keihl testified.
In testimony that was heard by Punch but not the jury, Orleans County Sheriff's Sergeant Dean Covis said Richard Keihl expressed a similar sentiment while sitting in his patrol car outside of the County Jail following his initial arraignment in Carlton Town Court.
"He said that he 'couldn't believe had to go through all of this for what I did ... or what you said I did' ," Covis testified.
Covis said the comment was unprompted by an un-mirandized Keihl. Defense attorney Larry Koss objected to the testimony about the statement, which was not included in the 710.30(1)(a) notices given by District Attorney Joe Cardone to Keihl's counsel prior to the trial.
Cardone argued that the statement, like those made by un-mirandized defendants at a crime scene, are not required to be included in the pre-trial notices.
"I've not seen a case without a post-arraignment statement not given as a 710.30(1)(a) notice," Punch said before sustaining Koss' objection. "The Court of Appeals ... has ruled it's not exempt."
Cardone and Koss are scheduled to present their closing arguments to jurors Friday morning in Orleans County Court.
|Source: Union-Sun & Journal - March 1, 2013|
Update posted on Mar 5, 2013 - 11:37PM
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