JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Johnson City man is being charged with aggravated animal cruelty after admitting to an officer that he hit a cat on multiple occasions.
According to Washington County, Tenn. court documents, on November 30, Aaron Duke Rover, 24, brought in a cat named Phoenix that he claimed he found lying injured outside.
Court documents say a friend of Rover’s fiance came forward with a video of a conversation between her and his fiance, during which she claimed Rover had injured the cat.
Phoenix died on December 1 at the veterinarian’s office.
Officers allegedly spoke with Rover at his home on December 2, and Rover reportedly admitted to officers that he had struck the cat and had done so before.
Rover was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and issued a criminal summons.
An official with the animal shelter says investigators have reason to believe that Rover hit the cat because it wouldn’t stop playing with a Christmas tree.
The cat was taken to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy.