Man pleads guilty to killing defenseless kitten, setting an apartment building on fire in Prince William Co.

Frederick Pierce will be sentenced on April 25. The maximum punishment is ten years in prison.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — A man has pleaded guilty to kicking his family member’s 3-month-old kitten to death and setting fire to an apartment building in Woodbridge. 

Frederick Pierce faces up to ten years in prison.

On Jan. 4, Pierce pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and one count of arson. He was then found guilty of both charges.

On March 26, 2023, officers with the Prince William County Police Department responded to a Potomac Heights Place apartment for a domestic dispute. At the scene, officers spoke with the caller who was visibly upset and crying. She told police that when she left for work in the morning, around 9 a.m., her 3-month-old Siamese/Maine Coon kitten named “Misty” was in her room. When she returned home, around 7 p.m., she found her cat lying lifeless on her bedroom floor.

Investigators say Frederick Pierce admitted to striking the cat with a shoe while telling the kitten that it was “bad” and that it destroyed furniture. He further told police that the kitten came into the room and kept bothering him, so he came into the hallway and struck it two times in the head with his Jordan shoe which he was wearing. The kitten died from injuries inflicted by Pierce.

On June 14, Fire Marshall Lt. D. Schultz responded to the same Potomac Heights Place apartment for a report that Pierce had lit two separate fires after threatening to burn the apartment down. A witness saw a fire at the foot of Pierce’s bed and extinguished the flames with the help of another witness. They locked Pierce out of the apartment and after he failed to get back in, they heard smoke detectors from the hallway go off and saw smoke via the peephole. A neighbor was able to put the fire out which was started in the trash can in the apartment complex mail room on the second floor.

Detectives say Pierce will be sentenced by a court on April 25. He faces a maximum of ten years in prison. 

 Amy Ashworth, Commonwealth’s Attorney, offered the following comment about this case: 

“Animal cruelty is a serious offense that will not be tolerated in our community. My office remains committed to vigorously prosecuting individuals who engage in such reprehensible acts, seeking justice for the helpless victims who cannot speak for themselves. This case serves as a reminder that our community will not tolerate such acts of violence and those who commit them will be held accountable.”

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