The West Hartford man charged with assaulting his girlfriend and killing an eight-week-old kitten named Kronos and a 3-year-old rat named Mortimer — by shooting them multiple times with a BB gun — faces felony animal cruelty charges.
Corey McCall, 22, of Sky View Drive was arrested by West Hartford Police on Sept. 20 and was also charged with disorderly conduct, unlawful discharge of a firearm and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana.
On Thursday, prosecutor Danielle O’Connell said a veterinarian produced radiology pictures of the dead kitten indicating the kitten was shot twice. Veterinarian radiology records of a dead rat indicated the rat was shot six times, she said.
O’Connell changed the misdemeanor animal cruelty charges to felony charges.
O’Connell said McCall has five prior domestic violence incidents and said he had “severe violent tendencies” and that though the focus of Thursday’s hearing was on the animal cruelty charges, these incidents were “done to instill fear, power and control.”
According to police reports, the victim told police she had fed her 8-week-old kittens Ziggy and Kronos on Sept. 20 when McCall “grabbed the TV remote and smacked Kronos in the head” and that the kitten “started shaking, running around acting weird like he was having a seizure” before dying. When the victim attempted to leave the room, she told police, McCall grabbed her by her upper arm and forcibly pushed her on the bed.
The victim told police that at one point, McCall shot at the kitten Ziggy a few times and then struck Ziggy in the head with the butt of the BB gun.
The victim told police she asked McCall to go to Big Y, and had contacted a friend telling them to call police. The victim later told police that McCall killed her 3-year-old pet rat Mortimer earlier that week. Police and an animal control officer accompanied the victim to a relative’s house where they dug up the remains of the rat, wrapped in a blue T-shirt. According to the police report, the rat was shot multiple times.
According to police, Ziggy had multiple BB gun shots and had a broken front leg.
McCall’s attorney Elizabeth Weiss said she believed the veterinarian’s report was used to “inflame the issue” and that increasing bond against McCall could make it difficult to meet with him, as he would likely be transferred to a jail further away.
Weiss said the allegations and charges were “out of character” and that he “does not have a violent tendency.”
UConn Law student Taylor Hansen, accompanied by professor Jessica Rubin, applied to represent the animals involved in the case, which were granted.
On Thursday, animal law advocates with Desmond’s Army wearing red and purple T-shirts said they were happy to see that the animal cruelty charges were bumped up from misdemeanors to felonies.
Superior Court Judge Matthew Budzik, who reduced a $150,000 bond to $75,000 on Sept. 21 when the animal cruelty charges were misdemeanors, raised McCall’s bond to $125,000. He issued another protective order barring him from contacting his girlfriend. The victim again appeared in Hartford Superior Court on Thursday.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 20.