Las Cruces man pleads Not Guilty in cat cruelty case
POSTED: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 4:22pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 4:54pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) —
Matthew J. Montes, 25, was arraigned Tuesday in Las Cruces Judge Macias' courtroom on an Extreme Animal Cruelty charge.
Montes was accused of choking and scalding a kitten in October and has pleaded not guilty. The $50,000 secured bond remains in place and Montes was remanded to the custody of the Dona Ana County Detention Center.
Over thirty animal activists from Action Programs for Animals and Dona Ana Pets Alive showed up in the courtroom today to silently protest cruelty to animals. "Our Office will continue to fight tirelessly and be a voice for those that can't speak for themselves. Animals are certainly no exception" says Mark D'Antonio, Third Judicial District Attorney.
Any future proceedings in Montes' Animal Cruelty case are set to be heard in front of the Honorable Judge Kugler.
Las Cruces Police arrested a man charged with abusing his girlfriend's cat allegedly causing it serious burns after submerging it in scalding hot water.
Matthew Montes, 25 is charged with a fourth degree felony of extreme cruelty to animals.
"To have somebody they depend on have someone do this to them is horrible," said Las Cruces resident Christy Trevino.
The 6-month-old cat named Lulu suffered serious burns to its hind legs that might be severe enough to require skin grafts.
"He apparently stated something to the effect that he didn't like cats and he was upset that she had just gotten this cat not too long ago," said Las Cruces Police Spokesperson Dan Trujillo.
According to court documents, Montes and his girlfriend were in the process of moving when she spotted Montes outside with the cat between his legs but couldn't see what he was doing.
The records show the 25-year-old denied any wrongdoing but later admitted to harming Lulu after his girlfriend noticed the cat was unable to walk.
"She found out he was choking the cat and choked it to unconsciousness," Trujillo said.
The criminal complaint shows a few days later, Lulu started losing fur and Montes admitted to his girlfriend he had dipped the cat in water.
Police learned the temperature was at the highest setting about 130 degrees fahrenheit.
According to the criminal complaint, Montes also told his girlfriend he used sticks to penetrate the cat's body cavities and admitted to having killed cats in the past.
Montes is being held under a $50,000 cash only bond at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.