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updated: 6/7/2013 7:31 AM

Central Illinois man sentenced for animal cruelty

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Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- A central Illinois man was sentenced to 2 years in prison after authorities say he starved more than 70 cats and dogs at his rural McLean County home.

Thirty-year-old Curtis Cleary pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm after investigators say he fired a gun at his naked girlfriend as she ran down the driveway of his Lexington home.

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Investigators say dozens of decaying animal corpses were discovered in November in the house's basement and a nearby barn.

At Thursday's sentencing in Bloomington, Cleary apologized and blamed his struggles with alcohol and depression.

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