It was over 17 months ago when Byron was scalded with hot water by his previous owner, Kyle Voissem, and it was over 15 months ago when Voissem was arrested for the crime. It has been since the arrest that his case has drawn out for as long as it did. But, finally, it all came to a conclusion yesterday after a 2 day bench trial. Voissem was found guilty of criminal intent of animal cruelty, a felony charge that includes up to 3 years in prison. Voissem’s sentencing date was set for May 20th. However after a long extension granted by the Judge due to a psychological evaluation, Voissem’s sentencing was finally on July 11th. He was sentenced to 1 year probation.
Although the sentencing was very light and that Voissem basically cried as victim due to the petitioning and action by all animal lovers, the felony conviction alone is a great victory for both animals and animal rights groups because not only does it set a precedent for other first-time offenders but it also sets the precedent that a split-second decision out of anger can change the course of an abuser’s life in an instant.
Another animal cruelty case that I have been following is that of Derek Fierro. I will post the details and update on this case soon.