By Naeisha Rose
A cat killer from Far Rockaway pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and intimidating a witness last week after murdering his own pet and trying to cover it up, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office.
Giovanni Olivo, 31, from Beach 26th Street entered a guilty plea July 23, moments before a jury was to be selected for his trial, and admitted killing his cat on Sept. 30, 2016, as well as trying to intimidate an individual who lived in his neighborhood and witnessed him assault the cat, according to Brown.
“Subsequent to the defendant’s arrest on aggravated animal cruelty charges, the defendant then attempted to scheme his way out of trouble by attempting to intimidate a witness that saw him commit this horrible crime,” said Brown.
On Sept. 30, 2016, Olivo stabbed his cat, threw her from a third-floor balcony from his Beach 26th Street home to the street level, and yelled at the cat in front of several people, including children, as he stomped on her, according to the charges levied against him and his own confession.
During his assault on the cat he yelled, “you’re dead to this world,” according to the charges.
“This was a cruel and vile act of brutality. These kinds of acts of aggression toward animals cannot — and will not — be tolerated,” said Brown.
After Olivo was arrested by officers from the 101st Precinct and charged with killing his cat, he attempted to intimidate a witness who was slated to testify against him in court, according to Brown.
“Those who are eyewitnesses to criminal acts must be protected from outside interference that might affect their testimony,” said Brown.
Olivo pleaded guilty before Queens Criminal Court Judge John Latella, who set the defendant’s sentencing for Sept. 12.
Not only is Olivo expected to receive 10 months in jail for animal cruelty and intimidating a witness, but he will have to register with the city Department of Health as an animal abuser on its registry, and he will be banned from owning a pet for five years, according to the DA’s office. Once registered, Olivo will not be allowed to adopt a pet from a city shelter, rescue group or pet store.
“The defendant is going to jail as punishment for the vicious killing of a cat and for trying to sway a witness to lie in court,” said Brown.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose