Thomas Hart, accused hater of "girl's night," charged in ferret drowning

Thomas Hart might have drawn a few strange looks from other inmates if anyone in Hennepin County Jail asked what he was in for.

The answer is, Hart was doing time for murder. Ferret murder.

Last week, Hart was arrested for the drowning death of his girlfriend's pet ferret, and he's now being charged with felony animal cruelty charges.

Hart's alleged ferret killing stems from an incident in which his girlfriend and another friend were out drinking. When Hart decided that the two women were just having a "girl's night" out on the town, he stormed out of the bar. When Hart's girlfriend came home, had had something to say to her, according to the complaint from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

"Yeah," Hart told her. "Yeah, I killed the ferret."

And indeed, the ferret was dead, lying motionless in its cage. The pet's head was soaking wet, but the rest of its body was dry. Hart also allegedly wielded a knife when talking to his girlfriend, whom he told to leave the apartment immediately, according to the complaint.

Instead, they got visitors: The cops. When police confronted Hart, he allegedly shouted, without prompt, "I didn't kill that ferret! I opened the front door and just let it go!"

Judging from the placement of the ferret's water bowl, and a drenched couch cushion, Hart's girlfriend deduced that he'd forced the little thing's head under the water and drowned it. His girlfriend also told cops that Hart had previously threatened to kill her pet.

Hart is facing two charges of animal torture or cruelty, both felonies. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a $10,000 fine; the second comes with a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

According to the complaint, results of an autopsy on the ferret is pending.

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