Oxford man wants intervention in lieu of conviction in Hamilton cat cruelty case

May 15—An Oxford man charged with felony animal cruelty in a Hamilton case that resulted in injuries to a cat that later was euthanized has requested intervention in lieu of conviction, according to court documents.

Zhean Bai, 27, was arrested Feb. 6 at his residence at Oxford West Apartments on Ogden Court and charged with prohibitions concerning companion animals, and breaking and entering, both fifth-degree felonies.

In March, a Butler County grand jury indicted Bai on one count of cruelty to companion animal, a fifth-degree felony. The grand jury declined to return a indictment for breaking and entering.

Intervention in lieu of conviction means an eligible defendant pleads guilty but agrees to a treatment plan as ordered by the court. If the defendant successfully completes the intervention plan, the judge dismisses the case.

Defense attorney Brandon Moermond filed the motion last week, stating Bai "asserts he is a drug dependent person or is in danger of becoming drug dependent and such was a factor leading to criminal activity in this particular case."

Moermond said, "Rehabilitation through intervention would substantially reduce the likelihood of any additional criminal activity."

Bai was arraigned March 14 in Butler County Common Pleas Court, where Judge Keith Spaeth continued $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to be back in court June 20 for a hearing to consider the intervention request. He will receive medical and psychiatric evaluations before the hearing.

Bai's arrest came after a tip from a concerned citizen, the suspect a day after a the sheriff's office offered a $250 reward for information on the identity of a suspect in the Jan. 24 incident.

The Butler County Sheriff's Office took to social media to identify a man who appears to capture a cat then slam it to the ground at a Hamilton apartment complex, causing the animal grave injuries.

The incident happened at 9 p.m. Jan. 24 at Indian Springs apartments on Hampshire Drive. The cat was found by deputy dog wardens behind the complex and had to be euthanized due to its injuries.