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Social media video of a cat killing leads to charges for Barbourville man and a juvenile

From The Knox County Ky Sheriff's Office -

Gabriel Messer - KCDC

On Friday morning August 18, 2023, the Knox County Ky. Sheriff's Office received a call in regard to a disturbing video posted to social media of two male subjects harming a cat.

After reviewing the video, Deputies Jesse Smith and Lt. Sam Mullins determined an individual in the video was identified by his tattoos. One of the two males, 20-year-old Gabriel Messer of Barbourville, had been arrested by Deputy Smith on Tuesday August 15th for criminal abuse - 2nd degree involving a juvenile and was still in custody.

The deputies went to the Knox County Detention center and spoke with Messer confirming the tattoos were his. Messer state that he stabbed the cat, but that it was the idea of the juvenile. He claimed he was going to kill the cat and wanted to "put it out of it's misery."

The deputies then went to the juvenile's residence for an interview and he blamed Messer for the incident. It was determined that the juvenile was the individual filming and laughing in the video. He was arrested and transported to the Breathitt County Juvenile Detention Center charged with torture of a dog or cat and criminal mischief - 1st degree.

In addition to his current charge of criminal abuse - 2nd degree, Gabriel Messer was additionally charged with cruelty to animals - 2nd degree and criminal mischief - 3rd degree. He is being held on a $5,500 cash bond.

The owner of the animal did state it was hers seen in the video. Additional charges are possible as the owner also stated she had other animals, one of which was a dog found stabbed in a similar manner behind her home in a creek.

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