Jul 28, 2014 8:10 PM by Andy Koen
PUEBLO - A man who outraged animal lovers by video taping himself torturing then strangling a kitten will spend more than two years behind bars.
In a Pueblo courtroom Monday afternoon, Robert Heckmann was sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in prison in connection with the animal cruelty conviction.
Heckman was initially convicted in a plea agreement and sentenced to 18 months supervised probation. However, District Court Judge Victor Reyes threw out that plea agreement after Heckman appeared on TV claiming his innocence.
Animal groups who petitioned the court for harsher punishment celebrated the decision.
"Ultimately it is the judge's decision but I do think that there was public pressure to do something beside probation," said Darla Sheuerman, a volunteer with the group Justice for Loki.
Reyes said he appreciated the group's positive energy and involvement with the case. However, said public pressure did influence his decision. Instead, it was Heckmann's past criminal convictions and failure to abide by the terms of his sentences that the judge credited with lengthening his time behind bars.