BRISTOL - A city man accused of beating his roommateâ€™s cat to death has now been charged with violating his probation.
Jonathan Ely, 27, of 56 Ingraham Place, was charged Thursday with one count of violation of probation, which he is serving for a 2017 conviction of second-degree strangulation.
According to the arrest warrant, Elyâ€™s probation was violated after he twice tested positive for marijuana and was arrested on Aug. 30 and accused of killing a cat.
Police say Ely caused injuries to the cat that resulted in internal bleeding to his liver, spleen, abdominal cavity, lungs and kidney, according to the warrant.
About 15 members of Desmondâ€™s Army, a group of animal rights activists, attended Elyâ€™s hearing in Bristol Superior Court on Thursday, lining up outside the courthouse before the hearing and demanding that animal abusers get stiffer penalties.
The group held signs, some of which read â€śKitten killer in court todayâ€ť and â€śAnimal abuse is a felony.â€ť
â€śThis case is a classic case,â€ť said Linda Pleva, of Desmondâ€™s Army. â€śThis is a violent man who has taken out his violence on an innocent animal.â€ť
Ely was ordered held on $250,000 bond and his probation violation case was transferred to New Britain court, where he has been convicted of strangulation.
His animal abuse case will continue to be heard in Bristol, but state prosecutor Elizabeth Moseley said she will ask about getting the probation case sent back to Bristol in hopes of reaching a â€śglobal resolution.â€ť
The cat Ely allegedly killed, named Gus, was found dead on Aug. 24 in an apartment Ely and the catâ€™s owner shared.
The owner, who works at the same company as Ely, returned home from his shift about 45 minutes after his roommate. He told police he found a number of cardboard boxes destroyed on the ground. The boxes were supposed to be for the cat to play with.
When the roommate confronted Ely about the boxes, he said that, if he couldnâ€™t get a ride to work that morning, then the roommateâ€™s cat couldnâ€™t have the boxes, according to the warrant.
The roommate then found his cat dead in his bedroom on the floor. He took the cat and went to a friendâ€™s house, where he called police.
A necropsy on the cat determined that it had died from blunt trauma that caused internal bleeding.
When police talked to Ely about the cat, he said he found it in the kitchen cabinets when he arrived home from work, so he grabbed it by the back of its neck and put it on the floor, according to the warrant. He said he then used his boot to push the cat toward his roommateâ€™s living space, adding that he â€śbarely touchedâ€ť him, the warrant continued.
After further discussion with police, investigators wrote in the warrant, Ely said itâ€™s possible he used more force than he thought or that, as Ely was wearing steel-toe boots, the cat may have turned when he used his foot to push it away, causing it to be kicked in the face.
Police did not immediately charge Ely in the catâ€™s death. A warrant for his arrest was later signed, charging him with one count of cruelty to animals. State prosecutors have amended the charge to first-degree maliciously wounding or killing an animal.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.