North Carolina Teens Face Criminal Charges For Burning Opossum

Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

Three teenage boys in Tobaccoville, North Carolina are now facing serious criminal charges after police say they received a tip that the trio had burned an opossum alive and videotaped the attack.


Opossum Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyAuthorities say they received a tip last month that 18-year-old Kalob Hubbard and two other young men, a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old, recorded an attack on an opossum that ultimately died after being set on fire. Police investigators say that the attack took place in late October or early November and that a video of the incident was posted by one of the teens on Instagram.


Hard as it is to believe, by making the video publicly available on the Internet the boys appear to have provided the police with precisely the evidence they need to arrest and charge them with animal cruelty. Police say that now that the boys have been arrested and charged the video has since been taken down and will only be shown again if necessary during the criminal trial, with the sheriff’s office maintaining a copy as evidence.

Given Hubbard’s age as the only adult offender he faces the most severe penalties in the case, including a possible six to eight months in jail if he is ultimately convicted. In North Carolina, the animal cruelty statutes say that it is a Class H felony for any person to maliciously kill, torture, mutilate, maim, beat, disfigure or poison any animal.


While people may have realize that cruel treatment of common pets like cats and dogs is illegal, it may not have been obvious that animals such as opossums are also legally protected. The law is clear that the malicious conduct is illegal when directed against any animal whatsoever, not limited to those that are cute or cuddly.


North Carolina’s animal cruelty laws also specifically address the issue of cock fights and dog fights, stating that both are illegal and that charges can be brought against anyone promoting, conducting or participating in such events.


Arnold & Smith, PLLC is a Charlotte based criminal defense, traffic violation defense and civil litigation law firm servicing Charlotte and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know need legal assistance, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828.

About the Author:

jbradley.jpgBrad Smith is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses on the areas of criminal defense, DUI / DWI defense and traffic defense. Mr. Smith began his legal career in Charlotte, North Carolina as an Assistant District Attorney. In 2006, he entered private practice focusing almost entirely on criminal defense.

Born and raised in Charlotte, Mr. Smith is married with one son and one daughter. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, boating, golf and hiking near his mountain home in western North Carolina.


“3 NC teens charged with burning opossum,” by The Associated Press, published at

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