Charges dropped in hamster death case

The News Leader

March 11, 2011 4:05:06 PM PST
Authorities have dropped charges against a Brooklyn teenager accused of killing her younger brother's hamster. The Brooklyn district attorney's office on Friday cited "inconsistent statements from the witnesses" in dropping the charges.

Nineteen-year-old Monique Smith was accused of choking and squeezing the 4-ounce hamster named Sweetie in June, before throwing it to the floor. It was later tossed across the street.

Results of a necropsy at ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital revealed that the hamster had suffered blunt force trauma, liver damage and an associated hemorrhage.

Smith insisted that she did not kill the hamster.

The case was investigated by the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Law enforcemnet agents for the ASPCA arrested Smith on Tuesday night.

The ASPCA said in a statement Friday that it stood by its investigation to arrest Smith on animal cruelty and child endangerment charges. Smith could have faces two years in prison if convicted.

The organization said it was saddened by the knowledge that there will be no prosecution in the animal's death.