An Erie man pleaded guilty Monday in Erie County Court to beating his two cats to death with a golf club.
According to court records, Bisbee attacked the cats after one of them scratched him. He told investigators he felt “betrayed” by the animals.
He said he “struck both cats numerous times with a golf club until they no longer were moving.”
As part of the agreement, Assistant District Attorney Mark Richmond said, Bisbee, of the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, may not own any domestic animals while serving his sentence. He also must pay $263 restitution to the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Sentencing is set for Oct. 7 before Judge Shad Connelly.
Bisbee’s lawyer, Stephen Sebald, said Bisbee waived his right to a preliminary hearing and applied to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, a special probation program for nonviolent first-time offenders, but he was denied admission.
Bisbee also “proactively sought mental health counseling,” Sebald said. A report from Bisbee’s doctor will be submitted to the court before sentencing, Sebald said.
Erie County Detective Greg Acri filed the charges after an investigation by Humane Society Animal Enforcement Officer Merle Wolfgang.
Wolfgang said a tip triggered the investigation. According to the criminal complaint, several peo ple at Bis bee’s residence implicated Bisbee in the animals’ deaths.
She retrieved the cats’ bodies from Bisbee’s trash June 25, 2013, and discovered that they had “apparent trauma to their heads.”
An examination at the North East Animal Hospital indicated the cause of death was “focused blunt force trauma to the head.”
In an interview with investigators in August, Bisbee admitted he had killed the cats.
“I am glad one of the charges stuck.” Wolfgang said Monday. “If there are mental health issues, I am glad he is getting some help.”