Cedar Springs man convicted of stomping cat to death

Posted at 10:31 PM, Oct 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-08 23:15:08-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- A man from Cedar Springs was taken into custody immediately after a guilty verdict was read in his animal cruelty trial on Wednesday.

Michael Stackhouse was convicted of stomping a cat to death in front of children.

Stackhouse told FOX 17 from the beginning that he did stomp on the cat, but said he was just protecting himself and his family.

The jury only took about two hours of deliberation before deciding on the guilty verdict.

"When you have 15 to 20 people all around you, and I wasn't thinking clearly. I wasn't and I do feel bad. I did stomp the cat in front of God and everybody," Stackhouse told FOX 17 back in April.

Stackhouse was charged with felony unlawful killing of an animal.

Stackhouse’s trial started on Monday.  After the jury came back with a guilty verdict, he was immediately taken into custody.

Animal rights activist Carlolyn Matheson has been at every court appearance, pushing for the maximum penalty under the law because she said that Stackhouse showed no remorse.

"Michael Stackhouse and his wife both yelling at me and I just totally ignored that," said Matheson. "It just pushed a button in me and thought, I am going to do everything in my power to make sure this guy goes down."

Matheson gained the support of other animal activists, and the group sat in court during this week’s trial.

Matheson said that several jurors seemed disturbed when the prosecution presented pictures from the crime scene.

"Which were pretty graphic and it was hard for some of the folks to look at that," said Matheson.

Stackhouse's wife Deborah did not want to speak with FOX 17 for this story.

Stackhouse faces up to eight years behind bars when he's sentenced on Nov. 18.