- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - A Fayette County man convicted of throwing a box containing cats into a fire will spend at least three years in prison.

Michael W. Ford pleaded guilty in February to three felony animal cruelty counts. Media outlets report that the 56-year-old Victor resident was sentenced Tuesday in Fayette County Circuit Court to one to five years in prison on each count.

Circuit Court Judge John Hatcher ordered the sentences to run consecutively. He also ordered Ford to pay a $1,000 fine.

State police say Ford put his wife’s cats and kittens into a box and threw the box into an open fire on his property on Oct. 21, 2013. The remains of seven felines were recovered.

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