Tennessee Man Admits To Shooting Young Girl’s Therapy Cat

TENNESSEE – A Knoxville man IS currently facing a three-year term after admitting to a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and the intentional killing of a neighbor girl’s therapy cat.

Zachariah S. Sparrow, who is 42, appeared Wednesday in Knox County Criminal Court before Judge Steve Sword on the information charge.

He can ask for probation. By agreement with the prosecution, he’s been order not to have any contact with the victim and will pay restitution of $135.

Sparrow was living next door to J.J. Stambaugh and his family in North Knoxville. In early February, he shot and killed the family cat.

The family found the cat nearby to a hole in a fence between their house and Sparrow’s house to the north.

According to Knoxville Police, Sparrow explained that he shot the cat after it entered his house through a window and tried to attack his cat.

Stambaugh told 10News in February the cat – whose name was Bilbo – was the prized possession and companion to their 12-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who is on the autism spectrum.

Elizabeth received Bilbo as a Christmas present back when she was 6 years old.

“They cuddled together and she called him her baby and that was that. That all ended yesterday and it makes no sense to her,” Stambaugh told 10News at the time.

“Having to look your daughter in the eye and explain that someone gunned him down for no sane reason that you can come up with is very hard,” he went on to say.

The family noted that Bilbo didn’t go outside very much, however, they believe he must have slipped out an open door and climbed through a hole in the fence between the two houses.

The Stambaughs did later move away.

Sparrow faces sentencing coming up on Nov. 9th, according to records.