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Threatening e-mail delays sentencing of man in cat death

April 27, 2002 

The sentencing of a man convicted of killing the family cat because it annoyed him has been postponed while investigators look into threatening e-mails sent to the prosecutor in the case.

Scott Herrin, 26, was to be sentenced Thursday on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges in a case that has drawn the attention of animal rights groups nationwide. Investigators said Herrin is now suspected of sending the threatening e-mail.

The News-Press of Fort Myers said in Thursday's editions it also received an e-mail believed to be sent by Herrin in which the writer jokes of becoming a "suicide bomber."

Herrin, his wife Leeah Shepardson and two other young women were arrested after Herrin's Siamese cat, Thora, was killed and mutilated on Feb. 11, 2001. Herrin said he killed the cat because it kept him awake and had fleas.

The four photographed the cat being killed and mutilated, with Shepardson posing in one picture with the animal's blood on her face and hands.

Horrified employees at the drug store where the film was developed turned the couple in.

Herrin's attorney, John Spiller of Immokalee, did not immediately return calls for comment Friday.

Shepardson pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty and was sentenced to a year n a juvenile facility. Charges against the two other women were dismissed.

by Associated Press. Copyright © 2002 Naples Daily News.

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