A man convicted of killing four of his girlfriend's kittens by throwing them into a fire was sentenced Thursday to nearly a year in prison despite the couple's pleas for leniency.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell also urged authorities to investigate whether defendant Robert L. Tomlin's girlfriend, Kelli Green, participated in the animal abuse and then lied to police.

"You have given so many stories, conflicting stories, about what happened that evening that I don't believe a word you have to say right now," McDowell told Green after she spoke in Tomlin's defense.

McDowell ordered Tomlin to serve the maximum of 341 days in prison for violating his probation by moving back in with Green and her five remaining cats days after he pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to aggravated animal cruelty.

The plea bargain had included a suspended prison term with the condition that Tomlin avoid contact with Green and animals.

Green, 20, initially had implicated Tomlin in the July 2 deaths of her kittens but she recanted a month later.

"We were both drunk," she said in court Tuesday. "I barely remember anything from that night."