WARNING: This story is graphic in its description of the crime.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—A man in South Charleston is facing animal cruelty charges.
On July 20, 2021, South Charleston Police responded to a welfare check on the 1200 block of E Village Drive in South Charleston after a phone call request from the defendant’s sister.
Officers met the defendant, 20-year-old Gabriel Kekel outside his residence. The defendant told officers that he had overdosed his cat and then decapitated it and dismembered its body.
Kekel led officers to the attic of his home where three jars containing animal body parts were found. One of the jars contained the previously-mention cat’s head, which the defendant said he removed with a machete.
The crime of cruelty to animals is defined as a person who intentionally tortures, mutilates or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture, mutilate or maliciously kill an animal. It is a felony, and it could mean up to five years in prison and up to $5,000.
Kekel is currently being held at South Central Regional Jail, and his bail is set at $5,000.