The two men accused of beating a kitten to death have both pleaded “not guilty” to the charges this week.

Samuel N. Nye, 31, of Chillicothe and Alex Hebb, 22, of Washington C.H. were arrested Sunday for prohibitions concerning a companion animal.

Hebb was arraigned in Washington C.H. Municipal Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to the charge, but changed his plea to “not guilty” during his sentencing hearing Friday, according to the Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS). Hebb has been incarcerated in the Fayette County Jail since his arrest, and was ordered to remain in custody on a $3,500 bond.

Nye was released from the jail earlier this week after posting bail, and pleaded “not guilty” to the charge during his Wednesday arraignment. He was placed into custody while in the courtroom and was taken back to the Fayette County Jail on a $3,500 bond.

“I am glad to see this case being taken seriously,” said Brad Adams, the FRHS chief humane agent. “There is a correlation between animal abuse and other crimes, so we must continue applying strong pressure with these type of offenses.”

Officers with the Washington Police Department and an FRHS humane agent responded to a Forest Street apartment on Sunday after the kitten was killed, authorities said. According to reports, the incident occurred during the late hours Saturday night, when Nye and Hebb allegedly stomped a small kitten, causing its death.

The Record-Herald