Central Illinois man sentenced for animal cruelty

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 7:37 a.m. CDT

BLOOMINGTON — A central Illinois man was sentenced to 2½ years in prison after authorities say he starved more than 70 cats and dogs at his rural McLean County home.

Thirty-year-old Curtis Cleary pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm after investigators say he fired a gun at his naked girlfriend as she ran down the driveway of his Lexington home.

Investigators say dozens of decaying animal corpses were discovered in November in the house's basement and a nearby barn.

At Thursday's sentencing in Bloomington, Cleary apologized and blamed his struggles with alcohol and depression.

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