Cat Killer Is Sentenced – But Does The Punishment Fit The Crime?

INDIANA — A Crawfordsville cat killer who admitted he burned a cat alive was spared jail time during a sentencing hearing Sept. 1, according to court records.

Police did arrest Noah Riley, who is 19, Thursday night on charges of animal cruelty. The extremely burned cat was found bound by a rope Wednesday in a cornfield close to the Crawfordsville Municipal Airport off West 500 South. Riley explained to investigators that he saw several social media posts about the cat and wanted to “get the issue resolved.” A second juvenile was also interviewed in connection with the case, police said.

A judge decided to suspend 19-year-old Noah Riley’s 826-day sentence and ordered it to be served on supervised probation with credit for 96 days previously served, according to official court documents.

The cat killer was formally charged with one count of animal cruelty after the cat, which was later named Phoenix and sadly died in a local animal shelter, was found badly burned, completely doused in gasoline and tied up in a cornfield Jan. 11 near Crawfordsville Municipal Airport.

Riley explained to investigators that he and his juvenile girlfriend didn’t like cats, and “he thought it would be funny” to burn Phoenix, according to a summary of his statements to police, which were actually cited in a probable cause affidavit.

The pair reportedly attended a church bible study one night before going to a Montgomery County residence, where a man offered the animal to them, according to the affidavit.

Riley stated to investigators that he tied Phoenix’s legs, held her down and covered her in gasoline before lighting a match; he went on to add that Phoenix caught fire and began to run around before the pair left the area in his vehicle, the affidavit states.

Riley voluntarily turned himself in after photos of the badly-burned cat began circulating on social media, according to police.

Riley also was ordered to pay in upwards $3,300 to the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County, which did their best to care for Phoenix for several days before she died from her injuries.