A 45-year-old man was on trial Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, accused of killing a turtle.
Lonnie V. Mitchell, of Kansas City, Kan., was charged with animal abuse and property damage stemming from a domestic disturbance on June 30, 2016, at a home on Woodland Avenue.
Prosecutors said Mitchell killed the family’s pet turtle while wrecking the house after an argument with a woman at the home.
According to court records:
Police were first called to the home shortly after 8 a.m., when a female victim told police she had been in an argument with Mitchell when he grabbed her throat, poked her on the forehead with his finger, and said, “I’m going to kill you.”
The victim said Mitchell fled when he heard police sirens. Officers saw redness around the victim’s neck.
Later that day, shortly before 2:30 p.m., police were called to the house again when the victim told officers Mitchell had caused extensive damage to the house, including broken windows, broken doors, damaged locks, smashed toilets, broken water pipes, a damaged water heater, two broken televisions, a ripped mattress and a shattered bathroom mirror.
Outside, about 100 feet of fencing had been pulled from the ground.
Inside the home, the family’s pet turtle was “smashed” in the basement. The turtle had belonged to the victim’s children, and the fish tank it lived in was also destroyed.
Police arrested Mitchell after another disturbance at the home two days later. During an interview with detectives, Mitchell admitted destroying property at the home and throwing the pet turtle down the stairs.
Mitchell denied assaulting the victim. Of four charges initially filed against Mitchell, two were dropped before he went to trial.