Case Snapshot
Case ID: 5002
Classification: Hanging
Animal: cat
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Monday, Jan 17, 2005

County: Alameda

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: John Van De Roovaart

A Pleasanton teenager has pleaded no contest to one count of felony animal cruelty for killing a house cat and hanging its body from a railroad trestle. John Van De Roovaart, 18, could have faced up to three years in state prison for killing Xeno, an 18-year-old house cat, on Jan. 17.

But in a move that upset animal lovers, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office yesterday accepted a plea bargain that doesn't call for Van De Roovaart to serve any jail time.

Instead, the deal calls for Van De Roovaart to be placed on five years probation, perform 500 hours of community service, pay restitution to Xeno's owners and undergo counseling.

David Stegman, executive director of the Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton, said he's upset that the plea bargain calls for Van De Roovaart to serve all of his community service at an animal shelter.

"That's like taking a child molester and putting him at a preschool," Stegman said.

He said Van De Roovaart "can't be trusted."

Van De Roovaart entered his plea before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Alice Vilardi and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Roy Hashimoto on July 14.

Two juveniles allegedly participated in the incident with Van De Roovaart and their cases are being handled in the juvenile court system.

According to Pleasanton police, the three teenagers lured Xeno from its neighborhood, killed it, then hung it from an abandoned railroad overpass on Sunol Boulevard.

References

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