Jacob A. Thornton

Kitten’s head ripped off after domestic dispute

Bethalto, IL

July 28, 2006

Madison County prosecutors have charged Jacob A Thornton, 21, of yanking the head off his girlfriend’s 8 to 12-week old kitten during an argument. Thornton and his girlfriend, who lives with him, got into an argument and she left the home with her son.  When she returned later, she found the headless kitten.  Authorities believe it was ripped off with brute force. The girlfriend, upon returning home, found the body lying in the yard and the head nearby.

As of Friday afternoon, Thornton had not yet been arrested.  Police brought the kitten’s head and body to a veterinarian to investigate whether the decapitation could have been the result of an attack by another animal.  Authorities believe it was a deliberate decapitation.

Associate Judge Richard Tognarelli set Thornton’s bail at $30,000.  The charge of animal torture is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Update 9/19/06:

Thornton was sentenced to 2 years in exchange for a guilty plea.  Without the plea bargain he could have received 5 years in jail.  Thornton was already on his 8th month of parole for felony battery when he was charged with animal cruelty.


Belleville News-Democrat