Man accused of beheading cat backs out of plea agreement
BLACKFOOT — A Fort Hall man accused of beheading a cat has backed out of a plea agreement, and now prosecutors are planning to refile an animal cruelty charge.
Jesse Longoria, 45, was in magistrate court in Bingham County for a sentencing hearing Thursday when he requested to withdraw his guilty plea to misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and possession of marijuana.
During the hearing, Longoria claimed he must have been influenced by the unknown substance at the time. Longoria told Magistrate Judge Ryan Boyer he did not want to be known as a “wife beater” and would not have pleaded guilty to such a charge while in a normal state of mind.
Boyer reluctantly allowed Longoria to withdraw his plea.
“The defendant had a prior plea agreement to plead guilty to domestic battery, but he elected to withdraw his guilty plea, which results in both cases being placed back on the docket due the defendant’s inability to follow through with the plea agreement,” Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney Cleve Colson told EastIdahoNews.com.
The domestic battery and marijuana charge stemmed from an April 8 incident where court records show Longoria left several bruises on a woman’s arms by grabbing her tightly.
During that incident, Longoria told family members and police that someone was coming to kill him and that several wounds on his chest were because a vampire had bitten him. Later, when he was booked into the Bingham County Jail, he told officers the wounds were from burning himself. He also told police that he believes the marijuana he smoked was laced, or tampered with some kind of substance and that was likely to blame for his erratic actions.
Prosecutors had worked with Longoria to plead guilty to those charges in exchange for dropping misdemeanor animal cruelty charges stemming from a March 4 incident where he was arrested for allegedly beheading a cat with a knife. Details of that incident were not available as of Tuesday afternoon.
That agreement was nullified this week when Longoria backed out the agreement, and prosecutors now plan to refile the animal cruelty charge.
When asked about the original animal cruelty charge that was dismissed, Colson said: “Our intention is to seek justice on all charges at this time for the defendant’s conduct.”
New hearing dates will be scheduled for Longoria in Bingham County Court. He remains free on bond.