By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
A Morton man made his first appearance in Lewis County Superior Court Tuesday on allegations that he confined kittens in a box and left them for dead as part of a pattern of threats and harassment against a woman.
Brandon M. McIntyre, 20, was charged Tuesday with first-degree animal cruelty and cyberstalking.
Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher asked for $10,000 bail at McIntyre’s first hearing. McIntyre appeared in custody due to the nature of the alleged crimes, which involve accusations of “Mr. McIntyre allegedly threatening to put a hit out on the victim in this case,” Meagher said.
Defense attorney Rachael Tiller, representing McIntyre at his first hearing, asked for unsecured bail, allowing him to live with a relative out of custody.
Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke imposed the $10,000 bail, in accordance with Meagher’s request.
“Even though they are allegations, they are extremely alarming,” she said.
According to court documents, the Morton Police Department began an animal cruelty investigation on July 27 regarding incidents occurring between June 23 and June 24 in Morton.
Police contacted two juvenile subjects, one of whom at the time of the incident reportedly “had kittens he was trying to get rid of and was carrying them around in a backpack,” according to court documents.
The subjects told police McIntyre took the kittens and put them in a box, taped it shut, and left it at the alleged victim’s home.
Another woman told police McIntyre and at least one other person were attempting to retaliate against one of the juvenile subjects’ ex-girlfriend.
McIntyre and at least one of the juveniles reportedly sent a series of messages via social media to the victim, insulting her and telling her “she has a present waiting,” according to court documents, referring to the box containing the kittens, which they told her were dead.
McIntyre allegedly threatened to put a “hit out” on the victim, and both he and the juvenile repeatedly insulted the her.
The victim reported she found the kittens alive but “dehydrated, sick and hungry,” according to court documents.
McIntyre reportedly admitted to police that he put the box of kittens in the victim’s yard.