A 27-year-old Davenport man was sentenced to prison Wednesday in Scott County Court after he pleaded guilty to animal abuse in the death of two cats.

Justice Hill originally faced two charges of animal abuse and two charges of animal torture – first offense. In a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to two charges of animal abuse.

Justice Hill (Scott County Jail)

According to Iowa law, a person commits animal abuse when the person “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly acts to inflict injury, serious injury, or death on an animal by force, violence, or poisoning.”

The judge told Hill that, for each charge, he would be sentenced to a term not to exceed two years, with credit for the time he already has served.

The sentences, which will be served concurrently, are based on the necessity to provide the maximum protection of the community from further offenses by (Hill,) his criminal record and the cruelty of what occurred, court documents show.

Two cats are found dead

On July 27, 2020, Davenport Police received a report of animal abuse after a complainant left a residence for work. At that time, the person’s two cats were in the house, arrest affidavits say.

When the person returned home, the cats were no longer at the residence, according to affidavits, which show Hill “was the only other person at the residence when the cats went missing.”

On Aug. 3, 2020, the “badly decomposed” cats were found dead in a water cooler in the basement of the residence, according to affidavits.