An eastern Missouri man has been sentenced to four years in prison for killing a cat with a hatchet.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 55-year-old Grieg Ragen of Villa Ridge was convicted of felony animal abuse in September and sentenced Wednesday.
The crime happened in May 2012 in High Ridge, where Ragen lived at the time. The 11-year-old calico cat, Molly, belonged to Ragen's neighbor.
Ragen told authorities it was a mercy killing after the cat was struck by a car. But a veterinarian found that the cat's only injury was a severed spine.
High Ridge is about 25 miles southwest of St. Louis.