State drops case against Garrison man who accidentally killed cat

James Northcott (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
James Northcott (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The state has dropped the case against a Garrison man in an unusual case which resulted in the deaths of two pets in January.

A grand jury indicted James Kirby Northcott III, 31, in March following an investigation into the death. The indictment shed just a little light on the case, stating Northcott had choked the cat to death without the owner's permission.

Northcott's attorney, Tim James, said the case was much more complicated than that.

James said Northcott, who is an "emotionally disabled individual" owned a sugar glider, which is an animal similar to a flying squirrel which originates from Australia.

"This sugar glider was his pet, his life companion, basically his roommate," James said.

James said Northcott had driven to a neighbor's house and was leaving when the neighbor's cat jumped into his car and attacked the sugar glider.

Northcott tried to pull the cat off the sugar glider and was scratched up himself. In the melee, the cat killed the sugar glider and Northcott accidentally choked the cat to death, James said.

"He went back and told the neighbor what happened and the neighbor called the sheriff's office," James said. "The deputy for some reason determined it was cruelty to non-livestock animals."

James said the victim in the case ended up signing a form saying they did not want to prosecute Northcott.

In a hearing in District Judge Campbell Cox's courtroom, the state requested the case be dismissed. Cox granted the dismissal.

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