Salemi called his mother, Donna Salemi, after crushing the 7-week-old kitten, according to police, and "threatened to kill another one if his sister didn't give back his bong." That petty dispute, authorities claim, is what incited Salemi to commit his unthinkable crime.
After his arrest, prosecutors say Salemi admitted to killing the kitten with his bare hands, saying it was "more difficult than he thought it would be."
Salemi's mother would later tell officials, "Thank God he killed an animal instead of another family member." In court on Wednesday, she explained she was glad it was "one situation over another," The Chicago Tribune reports.