Published December 19, 2008
NEW YORK – An actor and former minor league baseball player who killed his girlfriend's cat has pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals.
Joseph Petcka, who's 38, pleaded guilty Friday to the felony. He faces up to 500 hours of community service at his sentencing on March 2.
The plea by the former New York Mets minor leaguer removes the need for a second trial. His first ended with the jury deadlocked 11-1 for conviction.
Prosecutors said Petcka killed the 7-year-old cat named Norman in March 2007 in a drunken, jealous rage.
Petcka testified that he didn't mean to hurt the 8-pound tabby, but that he overreacted to the cat's biting him.
Petcka said outside court that he hopes to do the community service in a youth athletics program.