Judge Rejects Plea Deal For Man Accused Of Killing Kitten

Heckmann (Credit: Pueblo County Sheriff's Office)

A man accused of filming himself torturing and killing a kitten will go to trial.

Robert Heckmann, 25, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in February, but the judge rejected the deal and set a trial date for June.

Under the plea deal, Robert Heckmann would have only gotten probation. If Heckmann is convicted in the upcoming trial, he could face up to 18 months in prison.

Since Heckmann's arrest in January, there has been enormous public attention on this case. Sources tell us the judge in this case did receive numerous letters from the public asking him not to accept a plea deal.

11 News doesn't know if those letters played a part in the judge's decision.

11 News also received information on how Loki's brother, Stewie, is doing. Stewie was reportedly living at the home when the suspect filmed the brutal killing of the 12-week-old kitten, Loki. The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region says Stewie is recovering at a foster home.

Investigators said they found a text conversation on Heckmann's phone boasting about the alleged torture.

HSPPR Director of Animal Law Enforcement Joe Stafford said the degree of violence made this case one of the "most distressing."

"This type of violence worries me. We've seen many cases in which those convicted of animal cruelty go on to commit other acts of violence, such as domestic violence, child abuse or elder abuse."