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Animal cruelty trial scheduled for Feb. 14

November 04, 2011

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The trial for a man accused of shooting a caged kitten four to six times with a BB gun, killing it, has been scheduled for Feb. 14.

Justin Michael Beall, who was indicted last month on one felony count of animal cruelty, was arraigned Friday on the charge by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh.

Beall, 23, of 8097 Castle Rock Court, Pasadena, Md., pleaded not guilty to the charge.

A witness told police that Beall smiled before he pointed the gun into the cage and shot the cat, according to court documents.

A Berkeley County Animal Control officer reported that the kitten was being kept in a metal cage under a home at 1397 Conservation Drive in the area of Hedgesville, W.Va., the records said.

The home's occupant told authorities that the cage was for catching stray cats, and that Beall came to her residence and removed it, records said.

One unnamed witness told police he looked out the window of his home and saw the defendant shoot the kitten. Another person said she also witnessed the shooting, alleging Beall shot the animal four to six times, the records said.

Police have said the defendant later admitted in a written statement to killing the kitten, according to court records.

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— Matthew Umstead

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