Man charged in connection to Springfield cat death pleads not guilty to animal cruelty charges

Blake Miles (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who was arrested November in connection with the death of a cat in the Springfield neighborhood, pleaded not guilty to two counts of animal cruelty and a charge of petit theft, jail records showed Tuesday.

A police report obtained by News4JAX earlier this month shows the second felony charge of animal cruelty against Blakes Miles was in connection with an incident involving a cat at a rooming house on Market Street. The first charge was filed after Miles’ arrest in November.

Prior to Miles’s arrest, Springfield cat owners had been on high alert after police say a man fitting his description was seen on video snatching Ashi — a family’s cat — off its owner’s front porch and then wrestling the animal into a tarp.

Beginning in mid-November, JSO said it began receiving phone calls related to missing and/or dead cats in the Springfield area. The Sheriff’s Office said officers responded to multiple calls over a couple of weeks.

“As a result of the complaints, and seeing a pattern developing in the area, officers immediately began canvassing the known areas of the reported incidents attempting to put a name to the face of the potential suspect,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a previous news release.

Records show Miles has only been charged in the two incidents listed above.