Woman: Man deserves harsher punishment for killing cat in front of kids

Woman: Man deserves harsher punishment for killing cat in front of kids (Image 1)

A woman whose one-year-old cat was killed by a man visiting her neighbor said the misdemeanor charge he is facing for killing the feline does not go far enough in preventing him from hurting other animals or even people.

Valerie Thompson's cat Onyx was killed by Eric Lee-Knox outside her home Friday, according to a Murfreesboro incident report.

“All I know is that I saw him with a belt tied around [Onyx's] neck and slung over the fence with all kinds of kids and everybody was outside,” Thompson said.

According to an incident report, Lee-Knox who does not live in the housing complex,  told police he killed the cat because it came into an apartment where a child was allergic to cats.

Lee-Knox was visiting his girlfriend who was babysitting for Ashley Huff who lives in the building next to Thompson's building.

Huff told News 2 she was not at home when the cat was killed, but when she returned home it was apparent the cat had been attacked inside her upstairs bedroom.

“It was horrible,” she said. “It looked like a crime scene with mangled with hair and blood.”

She continued, “It was under my bed, under my daughter's crib, under her changing table and into the hallway.”

Huff said she did not know Lee-Knox well and she is sorry that his actions will now have consequences for her and her children.

“My children have played with that cat and I would feed that cat every time I came outside and I saw it,” she said. “I loved it and I feel very bad that this happened and I am very sorry to her, but I don't want to be blamed for something I didn't do.”

Huff said because Lee-Knox was technically her guest. The housing authority is investigating her and could evict her from the property.

“The consequences are affecting me because I have to live here,” she said. “He doesn't.”

Thompson said Lee-Knox should be facing felony charges for the attack on her cat.

“It has been really bad,” she said. “My kids have taken it the worst.”

Lee-Knox is free on $2,750 bond.

News 2 called the phone number listed for him on his arrest report.

He did not answer nor return our call.

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