BARRE — A Granite City man is accused of attacking a woman and throwing her pet guinea pig out into the cold.
Adam Stephen Litton, 30, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, a misdemeanor count of criminal threatening and a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals.
If convicted, Litton faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He was released on conditions including not to contact the victim nor can he own, possess or care for an animal.
Officer Brittany Lewis, of the Barre City police, said in her affidavit Litton had called police on Wednesday to report he had been assaulted. Lewis said she went to the home on South Main Street and found Litton standing outside.
She said Litton reported he and a woman inside the home had been arguing and then Lewis said the woman stepped outside and reported Litton had actually hit her multiple times and she had recordings of those incidents. The officer said the victim appeared upset, her face was flushed and it appeared she had been crying.
Lewis said Litton reported he and the victim had gotten into an argument about her pets because he believed she wasn’t taking proper care of her guinea pigs. Litton reported there were flies around the animals and he asked the victim to clean so as to get rid of the flies, according to court records. Lewis said Litton reported the victim then got in his face and hit him in the chest with her fist multiple times.
Lewis said she then went inside the home to speak to the victim and noted she did not observe any unsanitary conditions or animals that were not well-cared for.
The officer said the victim reported she had been assaulted by Litton and at one point threw her pet guinea pig outside. Lewis noted it was cold and wet outside at the time of the alleged incident and the home sits right next to a roadway with heavy traffic.
Lewis said the victim reported Litton slapped her in the face with an open hand three times and the last time he hit her was so hard that she heard a ringing sound in her ear. The victim reported she took a picture of her face after Litton hit her which was shown to Lewis, according to court records. The officer said the side of the victim’s face was red which appeared consistent with someone who was just hit in the face.
The officer said the victim denied hitting Litton.
Lewis said the victim was holding a guinea pig while giving her statement to investigators. She said the victim reported Litton threw the animal out of the house during the incident and she chased after it while wearing socks, which were now wet. The officer said she found the victim’s wet socks near the home’s entrance. Lewis said the victim also played a recording for investigators where the guinea pig is heard squealing after the victim reported Litton squeezed the pet’s head.
The victim reported she had been assaulted by Litton on Jan. 4, as well, according to court records. The officer said the victim reported this was the first time Litton had struck her across the face. Lewis said the victim reported Litton also had pushed her against a door and grabbed her throat, though she did not lose the ability to breathe.
Lewis said the victim provided police with multiple recordings where Litton is heard telling the victim, “You deserve to be punched;” “You know, you say I could leave just as easily but I figure as soon as your pets start dying, you’ll get the hint that you need to go;” “I am going to (expletive) beat the (expletive) out of you like you’ve never experienced” and “I am going to start hitting you every (expletive) day until you actually learn.”
The officer said the victim started recording her interactions with Litton because he had called police before to falsely report she had assaulted him.