A 45-year-old man accused of killing a pet turtle during a domestic disturbance in Kansas City last year has been convicted of animal abuse and property damage, according to Jackson County prosecutors.
Lonnie V. Mitchell, of Kansas City, Kan., was on trial this week in Jackson County Circuit Court. A jury on Wednesday returned guilty verdicts against Mitchell on both counts.
Mitchell was accused of killing the pet turtle, which family members had named Seymour, while causing “extensive damage” to a house on Woodland Avenue on June 30, 2016, after an argument with a woman living there.
According to court records, police were called to the home that morning 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.”
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Later that day, police were called to the house again when the victim told officers Mitchell had wrecked the house, breaking windows, smashing toilets, cutting water pipes and pulling a fence outside out of the ground.
After his arrest, Mitchell admitted throwing the family’s pet turtle down the basement stairs, where it was found “smashed,” according to a police report.
Police arrested Mitchell after another disturbance at the home two days later.
Mitchell denied assaulting the victim. Of four charges initially filed against Mitchell, two were dropped before he went to trial.
Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced in September on the animal abuse and property damage charges. Both are felonies punishable by a sentence of up to four years in prison.