NC man admits strangling kittens to death

Daniel Eligha Knotts. (New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) — A New Hanover County man will spend time in jail after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges on Wednesday in New Hanover Criminal Superior Court.

Daniel Eligha Knotts, 20, of New Hanover County, entered guilty pleas to two counts of animal cruelty. Each count is a class H felony.

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On May 3, Knotts strangled two kittens that were only a few weeks old, and when Officer Rose with the Wilmington Police Department responded to the scene after getting a 911 call, the animals were found by police in a shallow grave.

Knotts admitted his guilt to his roommate and law enforcement.

On Wednesday, Knotts received two suspended sentences of 6-17 months with 60 months of supervised probation with the Division of Community Corrections, the maximum time allowed under state law. He must serve 75 days in jail prior to being released on probation.

Knotts will also be required to complete mental health and substance abuse evaluations and treatment, comply with prescribed medication, and he is not allowed to possess or care for any animals during the course of his probation.

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