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Tennessee man sets kitten on fire, yells "Die Kitty!"

By Tim Ghianni

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - A Tennessee man who covered a 2-day-old kitten with body spray and set it afire while yelling "Die Kitty!" will report next month to begin serving a 6 1/2-month sentence, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Christopher Schneider, who was 19 at the time of the 2010 incident, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the killing of four kittens, according to Sevier County Assistant Public Defender Micaela Burnham, who represented Schnieder.

Burnham said that the telephone videotape of her client setting the cat afire and yelling for it to die was showed in court Monday in this small city in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Other videotape detailed the killing of the three other kittens by Schneider's three alleged accomplices. Two of the kittens were thrown into the woods like baseballs and the other thrown up in the air and swatted like a baseball by a piece of metal, according to Burnham.

She said her client cooperated with police and provided the other videos, which showed three other defendants -- two juveniles and one adult still awaiting trial -- killing the other kittens.

Burnham said her client was satisfied with the sentence. "We did not offer a defense, we pleaded guilty. He admitted he was involved, he provided evidence to the police voluntarily," she said.

She also said that her client expressed remorse for his behavior and has admitted to an alcohol problem.

The tapes shown and heard in court made it clear that all four subjects were intoxicated, she said. Burnham said Schneider "has taken steps to get his life in order."

Her client -- who was given 30 days to get his affairs in order -- will report to the Sevier County Jail July 27. In addition to the jail time, he was fined $3,000 plus costs and ordered to serve 150 hours of community service. He also must have a mental health evaluation, according to the district attorney's office.

(Writing and reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

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