Prince William Co. man pleads guilty to kicking kitten to death and starting apartment fires

A Woodbridge, Virginia, man pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and another count of arson on Thursday.

Frederick Pierce, 18, faced both charges after investigators found a 3-month-old kitten dead inside of a home at the Stone Pointe apartment community in May, when Prince William County police officers responded to a report of a domestic dispute.

Police said Pierce also set a pair of fires in his apartment less than three weeks later.

Pierce admitted to kicking a 3-month-old kitten named “Misty” on May 26, leading to the kitten’s death, according to The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

A female caller told officers that when she left for work earlier that morning, “her 3-month-old male Siamese/Maine Coon kitten named ‘Misty’ was in her room.”

But when she returned home later that night, “she observed her bedroom door open and the kitten laying on her bedroom floor with its legs barely moving,” according to The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

It said Pierce admitted striking the animal “with a shoe, stating that the kitten was ‘bad’ and that it destroyed furniture. He further said the kitten came into the room and kept bothering him, so he came into the hallway and struck it two times in the head with his blue Jordan shoe, which he was wearing.”

Weeks later, on June 14, 2023, a Prince William County Fire Marshall responded to the same apartment for a report that Pierce had lit two fires after threatening to burn the apartment down.

According to The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, “a witness observed a fire at the foot of Mr. Pierce’s bed and extinguished the fire with the aid of another witness.”

The pair then locked Pierce outside of the apartment and after he was unable to return inside, they heard hallway smoke detectors and saw smoke through the apartment door’s peephole. The smoke was coming from a trash can in the apartment complex mail room, and was extinguished with the help of Prince William County police officers.

Pierce faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced on April 25.

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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