HomeTop StoriesHamilton cat abuse case against Oxford man will continue in court

Hamilton cat abuse case against Oxford man will continue in court

June 22 – A Butler County Common Pleas judge said no to an Oxford man’s request for intervention in lieu of conviction for a felony animal cruelty charge that resulted in the death of a cat at a Hamilton apartment complex.

Zhean Bai, 27, was arrested Feb. 6 at his home at the Oxford West Apartments on Ogden Court and charged with pet ban and burglary, both fifth-degree felonies.

In March, a Butler County grand jury indicted Bai on charges of cruelty to companion animals, a fifth-degree felony. The grand jury declined to indict for burglary.

Intervention in lieu of conviction means that an eligible suspect pleads guilty but agrees to a treatment plan as ordered by the court. If the defendant successfully completes the intervention plan, the judge dismisses the case.

Attorney Brandon Moermond filed the motion last week, stating that Bai “claims that he is a drug addicted individual or at risk of becoming a drug addicted individual and that this was a factor that led to criminal activity in this particular case.”

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On Thursday, Judge Keith Spaeth denied that request. Bia’s trial starts on November 4. He is free on a $50,000 bond.

Bai’s team of attorneys has filed a new motion to have the charges dismissed, citing a pending case in the Ohio Supreme Court questioning the definition of a companion animal, making the charge a misdemeanor.

In the motion, the attorneys questioned whether the cat was a companion animal or a “feral cat” because “the cat did not belong to anyone in the apartment complex and did not live in anyone’s home.”

Bai’s arrest came after a tip from a concerned citizen, a day after the sheriff’s office offered a $250 reward for information on the identity of a suspect in the Jan. 24 incident.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office has identified a man on social media who appears to catch a cat and then slam it into the ground at a Hamilton apartment complex, causing the animal serious injuries.

The incident happened at the Indian Springs Apartments on Hampshire Drive on January 24 at 9 p.m. The cat was found by service dog guards behind the complex and had to be euthanized due to its injuries.

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