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Police: Man kills pet rabbit in front of child
Charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, third-degree cruelty to children
Demetrius Lavell Hagins
Demetrius Lavell Hagins

A man who police said brutally killed a child's pet faces charges of both animal and child cruelty.

Two days before Easter Sunday, on March 30, Demetrius Lavell Hagins of a North Main Street address reportedly grabbed a child's pet rabbit and "slammed it several times against a wall until it was dead," said Madison Warren, Statesboro police community information specialist.

The heinous act was committed in the presence of the child whose rabbit was killed, she said.

Warrants were issued for Hagins, 50, who is being held in the Bulloch County Jail without bond. He is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and third-degree cruelty to children.

According to, "A person commits the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she knowingly and maliciously causes death or physical harm to an animal by rendering a part of such animal's body useless or by seriously disfiguring such animal."

Third-degree cruelty to children is when a person allows a child to observe an act of violence or commits the act in the presence of a child, according to Georgia law.

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