No Jail Time For Man Accused Of Burning Caged Cat Alive, Feeding It To Dogs

Roberto Hernandez was sentenced to five years on probation.

Miami, FL – A Florida man accused of setting a live cat on fire and feeding it’s burned corpse to his pack of pit bulls won’t serve any time in prison.

Roberto Hernandez, 19, was sentenced to five years of probation and 100 hours of community service for horrifically torturing the animal to death, the Miami Herald reported.

Hernandez was 17 years old when he forced the stray feline into a small cage, doused it with an accelerant, and tossed lit matches onto it, prosecutors said.

When the defenseless animal burst into flames, Hernandez helped himself to a drink, and watched it writhing in pain, surveillance footage showed.

After the cat burned to death, he fed it’s charred remains to his pit bulls, according to prosecutors.

A tenant who lived on the property said she watched Hernandez kill the animal, and said she was positive the creature was a cat.

“This was a brutal case,” Assistant State Attorney Nicole Garcia told Circuit Judge Nushin Sayfie during Hernandez’s court hearing on March 8.

Garcia urged the court to sentence him to 364 days in jail due to the “atrocious nature” of his offense.

“Even if he was unaware of the statute criminalizing animal cruelty, it should be instinctively known to the average man of his age that burning an animal alive is wrong,” she told the court, according to the Miami Herald. “It appears he has no regard to the pain and suffering of animals.”

Hernandez did not deny having burned the animal to death, but claimed it was actually a rabid raccoon that had been attacking other animals in the rural area, WFOR reported.

His attorney, Miami-Dade Assistant Public Defender Kevin Cobb, said that Hernandez came from a troubled family, and that he was forced to drop out of high school so he could help out with the family farm, according to the Miami Herald.

“Roberto is a young man on the precipice of adult life, who has never been arrested and has shown himself to be a loving child, a responsible caretaker and law-abiding citizen,” said Cobb, who urged the court to sentence him to probation.

“I find it curious that in this case the state is seeking jail time when apparently human victims don’t warrant the same approach,” Judge Sayfie said, as she sentenced Hernandez for felony animal abuse.

The judge also said she believed that the tortured animal was actually a raccoon.

“I don’t think a raccoon should be treated in that manner,” she added. “I understand that you’re helping with your family’s farm. I understand that raccoons have rabies at that time. I understand what the motivation and the mindset may have been.”

“Going forward, it is not okay,” the judge told Hernandez.

Judge Sayfie also opted to withhold adjudication, which precludes Hernandez from being designated as a felon, the Miami Herald reported.

Hernandez completed a psychological evaluation prior to sentencing, the judge noted.

“It is our sincere hope that this young man who brutally caused the torture and death of a defenseless caged cat, will adhere to any suggested psychological or psychiatric treatment imposed by a duly qualified physician,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

Fernandez Rundle said she was “disappointed” by the sentence Judge Sayfie handed down, and noted that it is not uncommon for offenders who commit acts of violence against animals to progress into committing violence against people.

“Research shows that individuals who commit acts of cruelty against helpless and trusting animals don’t just stop there,” she said. “Many of these individuals move on to commit violent acts against their fellow humans.”

Comments (23)
No. 1-21
Danimyl
Danimyl

“I find it curious that in this case the state is seeking jail time when apparently human victims don’t warrant the same approach,” Judge Sayfie said, as she sentenced Hernandez for felony animal abuse. I am pretty sure if someone was to toss gasoline into this mans jail cell, watched him burn alive and then feed his corpse to a pack of feral hogs. That person would go to jail for much longer than 364 days.

PADDYWAGON
PADDYWAGON

.....Can you say............P S Y C H O.............

bsundermeyer
bsundermeyer

If it was a raccoon with rabies, why did he feed it to the pitbulls? He could of infected his own dogs. It was probably a cat and he is a sociopath.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

POS psycho!!! Should have called animal control to remove the alleged raccoon. My gut feeling is you are a f--king liar!!!

LEO0301
LEO0301

Apparently burning to death a living creatures is an acceptable practice in the Hispanic community. I can't think of any other reason for the decision the judge made in this case.

scorpqueen01
scorpqueen01

The Judge is a POS. So sick of poor animals suffering at the hands of these assholes. HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. If they'll do it to an animal, they will certainly do it to a human.

Signal10
Signal10

When is this worn out excuse of "he/she came from a troubled home and had to leave school early to support the family" going to stop?

I came from a really sick family and I NEVER set any living creatures on fire! Good god man only a psychopath would that!

Rabit1
Rabit1

I would set that scumbag on fire and force feed his corpse to the dumbass judge. The justice system is so far gone. Time to bring back vigilantes. Ill volunteer

ChasingYesterday
ChasingYesterday

OMG, how horrific. Do society a huge favor and just put his ass down. We could call it a public service. Animals today, people tomorrow. It's assholes like him is the reason I hate people. This sickens me. Apparently that dick of a judge isn't an animal lover.

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

This guy is no loving caretaker or any of the b.... his attorney said. The judge is sick too. This man is a potential serial killer. This upsets me so much. There must be a place in heaven for animals. This s o b has no compassion for anyone, I guarantee. This will come back to bite the judge in her posterior region.

DaleMcNamee
DaleMcNamee

As a long time cat owner, I would cruelly torture this "sub-animal/sub-human thing" and the equally execrable "judge", put them in a cage and burn them and put their remains in pit full of putrescent rot... Why torture the dogs ?

LynnSB
LynnSB

WTF is wrong with this Judge ?? this F*cking POS should be locked up in the NUT HOUSE for a LONG LONG time !

Old Hawg
Old Hawg

You are absolutely correct. One of the indicators for a serial killer is the torture of animals. This time it was a cat. The next time it may well be a human being.

Lt Retired OCPD
Lt Retired OCPD

What is wrong with people anymore. Over road rage. Ridiculous

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

isn't torturing animals one of the major warning signs that the person is going to turn out to be a serial killer when they grow up?

The express
The express

Can you say Jeffrey Dahmer junior?

Stanracer
Stanracer

Not surprized this little psycho owns a pitbull. Future serial killer.

chessie58
chessie58

What a POS. Slap on the wrist sentence. Hope he has to scrape road kill up in the hot sun.

Bluelivesmatter4ever
Bluelivesmatter4ever

If this Monster does this to a innocent cat People are next I fear for Animals and kids u wonder what this monster does or did to fArm animals

Hannibal
Hannibal

You either shoot or drown rabid animals. You don't fucking burn them alive.

Chadcc
Chadcc

I thought lighter fluid dunk tank and throwing matches at him was fair and equal punishment... but I'm not a court kinda guy. I just like to stop crimes. Glad he was caught and glad people now know he is a serial killer in training.