CHICAGO -- Enraged after his older brother had an affair with his fiancee, an Illinois man killed his brother's cat, then texted him a photo of it along with the message: "This is what you did to me."
Sean Mulcahy, 31, of Homer Glen, pleaded guilty to a felony animal-cruelty charge Wednesday, telling Judge Edward Burmila he was sorry for slitting the throat of his brother's cat Lucifer in August. Will County sheriff's police found the cat in a ditch across the street from the Homer Glen home where Mulcahy lived with his brother Ryan, 33. Police also found a pool of blood in the driveway.
The Mulcahy brothers had been fighting Aug. 5 when Ryan Mulcahy received the text message with a picture of his bloodied pet around 4:50 a.m., according to court records. Police arrested Sean Mulcahy when he returned to the home about three hours later.
That same day, Ryan Mulcahy took out an order of protection against his brother Sean for himself and his 9-year-old son, writing that "based on this degree of animal cruelty I am in fear of my life and my family." The order has since expired.
Sean Mulcahy, who was drunk, first told police he killed the cat after it scratched him, said assistant state's attorney Nicole Moore. He later told police he couldn't remember what happened, court records show.
On Wednesday, Sean Mulcahy said emotions over his brother's affair led to his actions. He said they had cost him his home, a job and created "turmoil" for his parents who received "hate letters" after he was charged.
"It was definitely fueled by out-of-control emotions as well as alcohol," Sean Mulcahy told the judge. "I am deeply sorry, sir."
Prosecutors sought what amounted to a 3-month prison sentence, saying they were troubled by Sean Mulcahy's "anger and violence."
"Taking the life of an animal to get (revenge) on his brother is a severe and horrible crime," Moore said.
Sean Mulcahy's attorney Donald DeWilkins said his client had only a minor criminal record, had found another job and was seeing a counselor. He said Sean Mulcahy was only "out of control" after discovering the affair.
"He had a tragic situation and that's how he dealt with it -- (he) went out and did something very stupid," DeWilkins said.
Burmila said it was "particularly shocking someone would take out their anger in this regard," before sentencing Sean Mulcahy to 30 months of probation and 150 hours of community service. He also banned him from having a pet or possessing any weapons while on probation.