updated 2/8/2007 8:26:14 PM ET 2007-02-09T01:26:14

A man convicted of killing four of his girlfriend's kittens by throwing them into a fire was sentenced Thursday to nearly a year in prison despite the couple's pleas for leniency.

Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell also urged authorities to investigate whether defendant Robert L. Tomlin's girlfriend, Kelli Green, participated in the animal abuse and then lied to police.

"You have given so many stories, conflicting stories, about what happened that evening that I don't believe a word you have to say right now," McDowell told Green after she spoke in Tomlin's defense.

McDowell ordered Tomlin, 22, to serve the maximum of 341 days in prison for violating his probation by moving back in with Green and her five remaining cats days after he pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to aggravated animal cruelty. The plea bargain had included a suspended, 18-month prison term and three years of supervised probation with conditions that Tomlin avoid contact with Green and animals.

Tuesday's sentence included credit for 199 days Tomlin has already spent in custody.

Green, 20, initially had implicated Tomlin in the July 2 deaths of her kittens but she recanted a month later.

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