A pair of Missouri teens received the maximum sentence allowed for an act of animal cruelty that attracted widespread condemnation when it made national news last year.
According to the Kansas City Star, 18-year-old Kyle Williams and 19-year-old were each sentenced to four years in prison for animal abuse following convictions stemming from the fatal torture of a cat last June.
Williams received an additional three-year sentence for an armed criminal action conviction. His sentences will be served consecutively.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year.
As CrimeOnline reported shortly after their arrest, the pair were accused of tying one end of a rope to the bumper of a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the other end around the neck of a kitten.
They reportedly took off, forcing the animal to run for as long as it could before succumbing to the graphic abuse and falling.
When the vehicle stopped, Williams reportedly noticed the kitten was still alive and killed it by bashing it with a rock.
Before the kitten was killed, Branson police reported that it was a “healthy and scared” animal.
Following the act of torture, video of the incident was reportedly uploaded by Williams and published on Facebook in an apparent effort to convince his social media fans to buy him a pizza.
In an unrelated conviction stemming from an incident while locked up in county jail on these charges, Williams also received a five-year sentence for fashioning a weapon out of plastic cutlery.
Prosecutors say they are satisfied with the outcome of the case.
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell credited the involvement of the community in helping authorities bring the suspects to justice.
“We appreciate the help of good Samaritans in our digital community in reporting this crime as it might have gone unpunished without their assistance,” he said.
[Featured image: Kyle Wayne Williams and Jordan Hall/Taney County Jail]