FREEHOLD – A Howell Township man has admitted to intentionally killing his pet cat earlier this year, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Tuesday.    

During a hearing yesterday before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Scott C. Arnette, 29-year-old Christopher Sanchez pled guilty to charges of third-degree Animal Cruelty by Unnecessarily or Cruelly Abusing a Living Animal, Resulting in its Death, and Simple Assault, a disorderly persons offense.

An investigation into Sanchez’s activities was initiated on Friday, March 31, when members of the Howell Township Police Department who were dispatched to a residence for an unrelated matter found the body of the cat outside the home.

Members of the Howell Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Humane Law Enforcement Division conducted an investigation determining that the cat, named Lilith, had belonged to Sanchez, who is alleged to have used a sharp instrument to kill it two days earlier.

Sanchez was arrested on the same day as the initial police response. The Simple Assault charge was filed against him because he physically attacked his roommate shortly after killing the cat.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Keri-Leigh Schaefer and Sevan Biramian.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, January 26, 2024, at which time the State intends to recommend a sentence of five years in state prison – the maximum permitted under state law – including an order to sign a consent order permanently banning him from ever again owning an animal as a pet.