March 9, 2012
A Harrisonburg police officer accused of killing an injured cat with a baton has been convicted of animal cruelty.
Media outlets report that a judge found 25-year-old Jonathan Snoddy guilty of the misdemeanor charge Thursday in Rockingham County General District Court. Retired Judge Steven Helvin of Charlottesville ordered Snoddy to pay a $50 fine.
Snoddy was charged in January following a Virginia State Police investigation.
Resident Wayne Meadows told investigators that he took the cat home on Nov. 11, 2011, after a car hit the animal and called Harrisonburg authorities.
Police department policy calls for an officer to euthanize an animal by shooting it, after getting supervisor's permission. Instead, Meadows said Snoddy hit the cat up to 20 times with his baton.
Snoddy's attorneys say they will appeal the verdict.