Detroit — Two Grosse Ile teens received probation for killing a guinea pig last April.
Third Circuit Judge David Groner gave Tanner Coolsaet, 18, two years probation and Michael Roth, 17, three years probation as part of a youth offenders program sentencing Wednesday.
The teens also cannot have unsupervised contact with pets not their own.
The teens were each charged with two counts of killing/torturing an animal and conspiracy to kill/torture an animal, both felonies, for killing a guinea pig to bring them luck before a lacrosse match.
The teens faced a maximum of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each count.
The judge noted Wednesday the teens didn’t have prior criminal records and were good students from good families, but said he put off the sentencing by for a while to make sure there were no “deep-seated issues” that needed to be addressed with the young defendants.
Groner told the teens “that little guinea pig didn’t deserve this, that’s for sure.”
Both teens apologized and pledged to donate $1,000 each to the Michigan Humane Society.
During a preliminary examination in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven for the defendants last August, witnesses testified that the teens said Coolsaet and Roth told them they wanted to kill the animal for luck in their next lacrosse game.
The defendants’ teammates testified Coolsaet, Roth and another player had arranged for a group of about 10 boys to meet at Grosse Ile High School around 11:30 a.m. April 30 to head over to a nearby beach.
The witnesses said the group of boys was split over killing the animal. One group wanted the animal to decide its own destiny. The teens split into two groups “live” and “kill” and placed the animal on a table where it crawled to the “kill” side of the table.
Roth allegedly hit the guinea pig with a small baseball bat and another teen stabbed the animal with a knife. Some of the others, according to a witness, dipped their fingers in the animal’s blood and smeared it over their faces. Another dipped his tongue in the dead guinea pig’s blood.
A third teen in the case was charged in juvenile court.
Staff Writer Charles Ramirez contributed