By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A 23-year-old Stillwater man has been ordered to serve 90 days in jail followed by five years of probation with extensive requirements for fatally injuring his then-girlfriend’s cat at her apartment while she was in class, court records show.
At a sentencing hearing last week, Christopher Bouine Joseph Henry was ordered by Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler to be evaluated for mental health, domestic abuse and substance abuse, to follow any recommended treatment, to undergo random drug tests, and to pay a $500 fine as well as $355 in restitution.
Henry had entered an Alford plea to avoid punishment for a felony animal cruelty charge in which he did not admit guilt, defense attorney Royce Hobbs said in court on Oct. 6, 2020.
In a petition for a protective order against Henry, his now ex-girlfriend alleged that on Nov. 28, 2018, “My boyfriend brutally attacked my cat. He called me and told me that he hurt her and threatened to kill her. When I got home, she was still alive and I rushed her to OSU Veterinary Emergency Hospital, and they tried everything but could not save her. He had crushed her skull, broken her neck, and she was hemorrhaging very badly.
“Prior to this, he has both verbally and physically abused me within the past year, and it was increasingly becoming worse. He’s punched me in the stomach and in my gut, and it took the air out of me. He also punched my arm very hard, and I had the darkest bruise I’ve ever had. He hit me over the head with a very heavy, thick textbook.
“He did choke me (not enough to pass out), but marks were left on my neck. He’s pushed me against walls and was very threatening after I had said something he took the wrong way. He also did throw things at me. He threw a very big laundry basket/container that had sharp edges at me, and I had a big bruise on my leg. He also threatened to hurt me multiple times when he became very angry.”
His ex-girlfriend sought and was granted an emergency protective order against Henry on Dec. 6, 2018, court records show.
Stillwater Police Officer Justin Reedy had written in an affidavit filed with the animal cruelty charge on Dec. 4, 2018, that Henry’s then-girlfriend was “very upset and was surprised to see me (on Nov. 28, 2018) — I explained to her Vet Med staff have a requirement to contact law enforcement.”
She “was worried I would contact Henry. She said he would fly off the handle if I did. I explained to her my biggest concern was her safety,” the Stillwater officer wrote in his affidavit.
“While speaking to her, Dr. Lara Sypniewski, DVM, entered the room to tell (her) they were not able to save Elouise,” the affidavit said. She “became more upset and asked if she could see her, which she was allowed,” the affidavit said.
“Dr. Sypniewski stayed and told me the cat’s clinical signs were consistent with acute severe head trauma with secondary brain swelling and a suspected broken cervical spine,” the officer wrote in his affidavit.
When Henry’s then-girlfriend returned, she asked the officer if he would go to her apartment so she could get her other two cats, the affidavit said.
“She requested I not go into her apartment, but stay out of sight in the hallway. I asked her why and she said she did not want Henry to get mad. About that time, her mother arrived from Oklahoma City,” the officer wrote in his affidavit.
Asked about physical abuse, “She again told me it hasn’t happened in a while and the last time was about three months ago. I asked her what happened during that and she said ‘he kinda choked me, but only for a couple seconds.’ She wouldn’t provide any other details. I provided her with a Wings of Hope card,” Reedy wrote in his affidavit.
The Stillwater officer said that he followed Henry’s then-girlfriend to her apartment complex — where she looked in the parking garage and did not see Henry’s vehicle, the affidavit said.
“I went with her, her mother, her sister and a friend to her apartment. Henry was not there. (She) gathered a few items along with her two other cats and left,” the officer wrote in his affidavit.
About three hours after the officer had been sent to the OSU Vet Hospital for an animal abuse and domestic abuse investigation, Henry’s then-girlfriend called Stillwater police “about messages she received from Henry,” who threatened to kill himself, the affidavit alleged.
On the day that Henry was arraigned on the animal cruelty charge, she obtained an emergency protective order against him, court records show.
At his sentencing last week, Henry was also given a concurrent 30-day jail term for public intoxication in a 2020 case investigated by Oklahoma State Police, to which he had pleaded guilty, court records show.
Because Henry was given a five-year deferred sentence in the animal cruelty case, he will not have a record of that felony if he successfully completes the terms of his probation.