‘I wish it hadn’t happened’: Florida man charged in kitten death claims it was an accident

Okaloosa County

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) charged James Miller this week for killing a kitten the day before Thanksgiving.

According to the arrest report, Miller told his fiancé Rose Beasley that he would kill the cat if it didn’t stop whining. Miller says that is not true.

“I started shouting, perhaps, ‘Please be quiet, for the love of god stop whining,’ but never said I was going to murder this cat, I’m going to kill this cat. I have it in for this cat,” James Miller said.

Miller says he is battling early-onset Parkinson’s disease and is prone to falling. Miller says as he came down the stairs on Nov. 24, he tripped over the living room rug.

“I felt my foot come down on something and realized that didn’t feel right. I moved my foot and saw the poor kitten and said, ‘Oh god,'” Miller said.

Beasley says she came around the corner to find Miller with the dying kitten in his hands and started to argue with him. The argument turned physical, and Beasley says she grabbed a knife. The two struggled and Miller was cut in the process.

“I attacked him, and he fell and got hurt,” Beasley said. “I was so upset over that I called police on myself.”

Beasley and Miller told deputies on scene what started the fight, which led deputies to learn about the dead kitten.

Beasley was arrested that day for assault. OCSO filed a felony warrant for Miller two weeks later on the animal cruelty charge, and Miller turned himself in this week

“I wish it hadn’t happened, of course, but it was an accident,” Miller said.

Miller is expected in court on Jan. 20, 2022. Miller has made a written statement to clear Beasley of the assault charges.

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