Archive for Thursday, March 18, 2004

City employee faces charges in cat shooting

March 18, 2004

A Baldwin city employee will face charges for allegedly shooting his neighbor's cat.

Terry McKinney, Baldwin's utility director, was issued a notice to appear in Baldwin municipal court for discharging a BB gun within city limits and cruelty to animals, according to Police Chief Mike McKenna. Both charges are considered misdemeanors.

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Baldwin resident Teja Curry filed a report with the Baldwin City Police Department March 1 stating that her cat, Cloud Dancer, which disappeared last fall, had allegedly been shot by her FireTree Estates neighbor, McKinney.

McKenna said the police department conducted an investigation after the report was filed.

"Once we started the investigation, we interviewed a number of people, all of which collaborated what we suspected," he said. "We also interviewed the suspect, and the result was that we issued a notice to appear to the person we believe is responsible for the killing of the cat."

McKinney declined to comment.

Curry told the Signal that she recently heard from someone that McKinney allegedly told some people he shot her cat last fall when it was on his property. Though the cat had been missing for several months, she said she had no idea what became of it until she said she was told the story.

"You don't go around killing people's animals that are in your garage," she said. "You just don't do something like that."

She said McKinney had never complained to her about her cat before.

She described her 14-year-old black and white cat as being very friendly and well-known by her neighbors. In fact, she said, her cat was known as the neighborhood cat.

Curry said she is pleased charges have been filed because she's not the only one upset about the death of her cat, whom she called a member of her family.

"A lot of people in Baldwin are concerned about the issue with my cat," she said.

McKinney will appear in court on April 8.

City Administrator Jeff Dingman had no comment on the issue other than to say that no disciplinary action would be taken toward McKinney at this time.

"That just depends on the outcome," Dingman said.

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