Garrett Kaplan – the man accused of setting a steer on fire last October at Paso Robles High School appeared in court Thursday.
Elijah Herrick, 11, was there for the hearing.
Herrick wrote a letter to San Luis Obispo County Judge Michael Duffy in hopes of stopping Kaplan from getting a lesser offense.
“Animals are practically just like humans, they are just in a different form and they can’t talk,” said Herrick.
Herrick says if Kaplan’s offense is lessened “Then other kids [his] age can say ‘hmm … I can actually kinda get away with this.'”
A group of about 25 people sat in court, wearing green T-shirts to support the calf that was burned and left with severe scars.
“Someone doing that type of crime to an animal makes it feel like they would do that to a human or child too,” Herrick’s sister, Cagney, said.
Duffy approved a delay in the trial so that Kaplan can get a psychiatric evaluation.
Diane Dieterich, along with other supporters, wants Kaplan to face punishments that fit the crime.
Dietrich doesn’t know “If 15 years is necessary”, but she hopes he will “at least do some jail time so that he is accountable for what he did.”
Kaplan’s next court hearing is set for Thurs., Oct. 2.