CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, MICHIGAN — A Boyne City man will now spend a total of nine months in jail for spray painting a kitten’s face and body.
Paul Wicker, who is just 40, will have three months shaved off his sentence if he completes a cognitive behavioral program while behind bars, Charlevoix County Circuit Court Judge Roy C. Hayes III stated during sentencing Friday, June 10, records show.
Wicker did plead guilty to attempted killing or torturing an animal for the abuse case involving a stray kitten found in Boyne City in October.
The cat, who was later named Murphy, was found with so much red-orange paint all over his body that his rescuers clipped off parts of his fur so he could move and lie down. The paint was thickest on the cat’s face.
Veterinarians had to amputate the kitten’s tail due to several broken bones and an infection. Most of his body had to be shaved.
The case sparked unprecedented outrage and sympathy from animal lovers, with many stepping forward with offers to adopt the cat.
Wicker was originally charged with misdemeanor cruelty to an animal and threatening to kill or injure a witness, which is a felony charge. Those charges were all dismissed in the plea deal.
Police stated he threatened a witness to the animal cruelty after she spoke to police.
“He allegedly yelled to a co-worker, in the presence of the witness, ‘I want her dead,’ or ‘I’m going to kill her,'” Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof stated in October.
Murphy did end up making a full recovery and was adopted by a Boyne City woman who said he’s “frisky” and “full of love.”