Man charged in cat burning case appears in Middletown Municipal Court

Middletown man accused of setting cat on fire to undergo psych evaluation

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The pre-trial hearing for Kevin L. Sullivan, 32, of Howard Avenue, was held Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court where Judge Charles Pater ordered a psychological evaluation to determine Sullivan’s competency.

Sullivan is free on $50,000 bond.

PREVIOUS REPORT: High bond set for man accused of setting cat on fire

Middletown police and Butler County Deputy Dog Warden Jamie Hearlihy were dispatched Sept. 18 to Howard Avenue near Arlington Avenue, where the fire department had put out the cat that was ablaze.

A police officer shot the cat to put it out of its misery, according to a police report.

Animal rescue group concerned about series of dead cats, dogs found near railroad tracks in Middletown

Samples taken from the cat and the blanket used to smother the fire indicated that lighter fluid was used, according to court records.

Police said Sullivan initially lied to them about his involvement, but an investigation by Middletown police and the dog warden’s office led back to him as a suspect.

Sullivan was indicted by a Butler County grand jury in January on the fifth-degree felony.

His case is one of three felony animal cruelty cases pending in the county.

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