Prison Guard Convicted for Crushing Kittens in Trash Compactor

Ronald Hunlock, 47, was found guilty this week of aggravated cruelty to animals for crushing to death five kittens in a trash compactor at Sing Sing prison where he was a guard.

Hunlock discovered the kittens during a search of an inmate’s cell. Hunlock ordered the prisoner to put the kittens in the trash compactor as a punishment, but when the prisoner refused to do so, Hunlock placed the kittens in the machine and started it himself.

Hunlock’s defense argued that the facts were largely irrelevant since New York’s Felony Animal Cruelty Laws was excessively vague and overly broad. The judge in the case, Peter M. Leavitt, disagreed, finding the law consistent with New York’s constitution.

Hunlock faces sentencing on March 19, 2002, and faces up to two years in prison.


Conviction applauded by animal activists. Zachary R. Dowdy, Newsday, December 19, 2001.

Guard convicted of crushing kittens. Associated Press, December 18, 2001.

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