Case Snapshot
Case ID: 20053
Classification: Stabbing, Kicking/Stomping
Animal: cat
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Friday, Aug 31, 2012

County: Yellowstone

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Thomas Joseph Godwin

Thomas Joseph Godwin of Billings, who choked and assaulted his girlfriend with a rock and stabbed and stomped on her kitten, was sentenced on Tuesday in Yellowstone County District Court.

Godwin, 24, was ordered to serve concurrent terms of 15 years in state custody, with 10 of the years suspended, for felony convictions of assault with a weapon and aggravated assault.

He was also ordered to pay $1,099 in restitution and submit to mental health and chemical dependency evaluations and treatment.

Judge Russell Fagg also ordered Godwin to serve a consecutive term of two years in state custody, with one year suspended, for a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.

During the court hearing, Godwin denied stabbing the kitten, but admitted that he did throw it against a wall and stomp on it when it bit his finger.

"There was no stabbing of the cat," he said.

Deputy County Attorney Ingrid Rosenquist said prosecutors maintain that the kitten was stabbed. Godwin was intoxicated, Rosenquist said, and was trying to force feed medication to the kitten when it bit his finger. Prosecutors said the kitten survived, but required surgery.

The animal cruelty charge stemmed from an incident on August 31, 2012.

About two months later, Godwin choked his girlfriend until she passed out. The woman regained consciousness while Godwin still had his hand around her neck. He then began striking her in the head with a large rock.

Godwin has been held in the county jail on a $75,000 bond since his arrest about one year ago. He admitted to the three felony charges in December.


  • KBZK - March 4, 2014

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