VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA. – A man charged with felony animal cruelty for his involvement in the strangling death of a cat in Virginia Beach has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Justin Page was formally charged with felony animal cruelty and disposal of a companion animal on public property.
Page and his roommate, Cory Gerarden, were both charged after a cat, Page had adopted was discovered strangled to death under a pile of leaves near their home.
Gerarden was found guilty back in May and he was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail. Evidence in court proved Gerarden told an animal control officer investigating the cat’s death that he did indeed strangle Pirate the cat with a rope.
According to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, based on that admission by Gerarden, and also due to Page’s lesser involvement in the crime itself, his charges ended up being reduced to misdemeanors.
Page pleaded guilty to both misdemeanor charges and was sentenced on each charge to 12 months with 11 months suspended, for a total of 24 months with 22 months suspended, which leaves two months to serve.
He also may not own any companion animals and must be on good behavior for 24 months.
He will be reporting to jail on June 21.