PUEBLO, Colo. - April 21 is the day that Robert Heckmann will learn his fate from a judge, after being accused of torturing and killing a kitten named Loki.
Pueblo Animal Services is prosecuting the case but declined to discuss it Friday because of a gag order issued by the presiding judge.
However, there was reaction to statements Heckmann made during an exclusive interview Thursday with KRDO NewsChannel 13's Michelle San Miguel. Heckmann said others were involved in Loki's mistreatment, and blamed his own involvement on being with a bad crowd.
"I think he's a pathological liar," said Darla Scheuerman of the "Justice for Loki" Facebook page, which has more than 4,000 followers.
Scheuerman said her group is promoting a petition to have Heckmann's guilty plea thrown out, and to have him face a trial by jury.
Heckmann also said his job as a Pueblo Zoo volunteer is an example of his love for animals.
But a zoo spokesperson said on Friday that there's no record of Heckmann being in the zoo's formal teen volunteer program. The spokesperson said it's possible that Heckmann was in another volunteer program, but not one that would have provided access to animals.