(Boston Police photo)
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff
A 25-year-old East Boston man received a 2 1/2-year jail sentence for an incident in which he stomped a cat to death, stuffed the carcass in a paper bag, lighted it on fire, and tossed the burning package through the window of an East Boston apartment building.
Luigi Epifania was sentenced today by Superior Court Judge Charles Spurlock on charges of arson and malicious killing of a domestic animal. Epifania will get credit for 437 days already served awaiting trial. His attorney said he expected his client will spend about three more months in jail.
The judge said he had gotten letters from numerous cat lovers, but didn't say what they recommended. The judge also told the defendant that he has a substance abuse problem that he should address.
Prosecutors have said Epifania was looking for an acquaintance on Princeton Street on June 13, 2007. He was unable to locate him and eventually fell asleep on the steps of a building. When he awoke, he spotted the cat, which he initially treated with kindness. He told authorities he “lost it” and then stomped and kicked the cat, which went by the name of Nunu.
When he realized the cat was dead, he put it in the bag, doused it with lighter fluid and tossed it into the building where a resulting fire caused “significant damage’’ to the first floor of the building, prosecutors said.
The defense said Epifania was under the influence of heroin at the time of the attack on the cat.
Epifania also was sentenced to five years of probation for a separate incident in which he attacked a friend with a knife and a frying pan.
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