Cherokee County

Marietta man charged with cruelty to animals after drowning cat, Marshal’s office says

A Marietta man is facing an animal cruelty charge after an investigator with the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office said he drowned a cat at a home near Woodstock.

On July 6, 2022, an investigator responded to a call regarding possible animal cruelty on Ashfern Walk.

The investigator spoke with the owner of the cat, Josh Humphreys, who explained he was taking a nap when his friend, Austin Hedgeman, awakened him and told him that something is wrong with his cat and Hedgeman believed it was dead.

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Humphreys told the investigator that the cat was soaking wet and not moving.

According to the case report, Humphreys questioning what happened to the cat and Hedgeman immediately became defensive.

Humphreys played the investigator a voice recording of the two speaking where Hedgeman admits to drowning the cat, according to the case report.

On the recording, one of the voices explains how he held the cat down until he quit moving. When asked why he killed the cat, the voice on the recording said because the cat bit him and that he just did not care.


When asked for his version of the account, Hedgeman told the investigator he was bored and decided to give the cat a bath.

According to the case report, Hedgeman explained that the bath had around two inches of water at the bottom, and that he left the room during the bath, but could not recall why. He claimed when he returned to the bathroom, the cat was not moving.

The investigator seized the cat for evidence.

Hedgeman was charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

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