A judge sentenced a Lawrence man this morning to serve probation and 30 days in jail for his conviction in an animal cruelty case.
Austin Newport, 23, was scheduled to report to the Douglas County Jail this morning to begin his sentence.
Newport had pleaded guilty Nov. 19 to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge for attempting to suffocate a rabbit several times with a plastic bag on July 27, 2006. He owned the rabbit, Melvin, with a roommate, and the animal later died at a veterinary clinic.
"Austin found himself in a situation that spun out of control on him, and I don't think this is a bad person at all," defense attorney Jerry Wells said. "But he did something I'm thinking is a very foolish thing to do."
Newport nodded in agreement.
Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild's sentence followed the plea agreement Newport reached with Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson's office.
Branson has said the punishment follows the original felony charge, even though Newport was convicted of a misdemeanor.
He will serve 12 months probation with the 30 days in a jail as a condition. Newport will also have time to pay a $500 fine and $107 restitution to the roommate for the veterinary bills.
Newport will also undergo another psychiatric evaluation, and his underlying sentence is one year in jail.