Teen Torturers

Teen Torturers Two 13-year-old stepsisters were arrested Wednesday and charged with a disturbing case of animal cruelty.

The head of the Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said that the cruelty inflicted on an 8-month old kitten is as bad as it gets.

One of the girls, Ashlee Parnell, speaking with the permission of her mother, said that she did not hurt the kitten she and her stepsister adopted from a friend.

"I love animals," Parnell said.

But investigators said that Parnell and her stepsister showed no affection for the male kitten when they allegedly tortured it and took its life in the Laurel Lake section of Cumberland County.

"They had tried to stab the kitten and could not make it bleed and, at that point, they began stomping on the kitten," said Bev Greco, of the Cumberland County SPCA.

Authorities believe the cat suffocated after the girls allegedly tied a red tank top around its neck and buried it near their home with its head sticking out of the ground on Dec. 5.

"I've never dealt with a more heinous act by juveniles, ever," Greco said.

"I didn't do it. That's all I have to say," Parnell said.

"They didn't do it. I know for a fact, because they're not (that) type of girls," said Rene Rutherford, Parnell's mother.

But Jessica Wooton, 16, said the girls immediately told her about what they had allegedly done, and investigators said that they were tipped off about the cruelty case after the pair bragged about it in school.

"She came running out of the woods saying she killed a cat," said Jessica Wooton. "They were excited, like they just won a million dollars. I'm serious, and I was just like, 'That's sick.'"

"This isn't a prank, this isn't just showing off, this is evil and they really deserve everything that can be given to them," Greco said.

Each girl was charged with two counts of animal cruelty. If they are found guilty, the girls could face community service, time in juvenile detention, fines and mandatory psychological counseling.

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