Cat killer’s maximum sentence upheld

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Can a clothes dryer be a deadly weapon? It can be if you’re a cat, an appeals court ruled Monday in a Visalia case.

A year after one jury acquitted Rock Anthony Rowland, 33, of killing his grandfather, a different jury found him guilty of killing his mother’s cat by putting the animal in a clothes dryer.

He was convicted of the felony charge of animal cruelty.

The jury also ruled he “personally used a dangerous and deadly weapon” in the crime. That added on year to his sentence.

The dryer was the deadly weapon, the jury ruled.

On appeal, Rowland’s attorneys argued “deadly weapon” means a weapon that is deadly to human beings.

The three justices of the 5th District Court of Appeal disagreed and upheld the conviction and sentence. The sentence was three years for the animal cruelty, and one year for the use of a deadly weapon.

The appeals decision also says Rowland put hot sauce in the cat’s water before he killed it.

The case is Peo. v. Rock Anthony Rowland

In 2015, Rowland was acquitted of killing his grandfather, a popular bar owner in Tulare.

Roland lived with his grandfather, Donald Lee Rowland, 77, until the grandfather’s body was found in the home they shared.

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