‘Sadistic’ NJ man who decapitated pet cat on video sentenced to prison
HOWELL — A 29-year-old Monmouth County man has been sentenced to over four years in prison for the depraved killing of his roommate's pet cat last year.
Christopher Sanchez decapitated the pet cat and forced his disabled roommate to watch, prosecutors said in Monmouth County Superior Court.
"There's a sadistic quality underlying this defendant's actions," said Sevan Biramian, an assistant prosecutor for the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
Sanchez was sentenced to four and a half years in prison by Superior Court Judge Scott Arnette on Thursday.
Horrific killing of pet cat
Sanchez pleaded guilty in December to third-degree animal cruelty.
He killed the cat, named Lillith, with a sharp instrument on March 29, 2023, according to prosecutors.
He told investigators that the cat shared the name of his dead daughter and that he wanted to keep its head as a trophy.
"His actions were especially depraved," Biramian said at the sentencing, which was recorded by the Asbury Park Press.
Sanchez also photographed and recorded the killing on video. He was reenacting other things he had seen online, according to Biramian.
Roommate calls him a "monster"
Sanchez also pleaded guilty to simple assault, a disorderly persons offense. Shortly after the killing, he attacked his roommate, who was only identified as T.C. in court.
She said Sanchez was a monster who performed surgery on Lillith's tongue before killing her.
The roommate was forced to watch the sickening mutilation.
"It was sheer horror," T.C. said.
Cat killer blamed it on substance abuse
In court, Sanchez said to the judge that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions and that he was driven to the killing by substance abuse.
"At the time, if you knew who I was, you knew I had a substance abuse issue," Sanchez said. He said court documents in family court would say the same but he did not explain further.
In addition to four and a half years in prison, Sanchez must also pay $525 for a necropsy performed on the cat's body. The necropsy disproved his claim that Lillith's death was a mercy killing after she was struck by a car, prosecutors said.
Sanchez is also banned from ever owning a pet or living in a residence with a pet present. He must also serve 30 days of community service and surrender all of his firearms.
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