We last told you about Robert Farmer back in October. He’s the San Jose man who was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after neighborhood cats went missing and turned up dead. The details of the case are chilling: A 15-year-old cat named Beardsley was discovered buried in a box covered by stones five miles from his home, dead from blunt force trauma. Thirteen-year-old Siamese cat Rayden was also found dead, and surveillance footage shows one cat, Gogo, being abducted from his front yard. In all, Farmer is accused of “stealing, maiming, and killing” 10 cats in the Cambrian Park neighborhood of San Jose, according to the Mercury News.
When he was finally caught, more depravity came to light: He was arrested in his car with a dead cat, an orange tabby who also suffered blunt force trauma. Inside his car was a jar of petroleum jelly and two cat collars, and a necropsy report from the San Jose Animal Care and Services division revealed that the cat had “dilated genitals,” which indicated sexual abuse.
Since then, affected cat owners and community members have followed the case closely, regularly attending court appearances seeking justice for the missing and dead cats. For months, all they’ve got from Farmer’s side are court delays and stalling tactics — a judge granted his third continuance last month.
But yesterday, finally, there was movement on the case, but it wasn’t what many in the courtroom wanted to hear. Farmer pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts of felony animal cruelty. When his lawyer entered the plea, there were gasps in the courtroom, and one woman began crying.
Cat lovers calling for justice outside SJ Court. Robert Farmer accused of killing /abusing 10 cats pleads not guilty pic.twitter.com/ddlBh5Imct
— Michelle Roberts (@Michelle_NBC) February 25, 2016
“I really wanted him to plead guilty and have this be over with,” Myriam Martinez told the Mercury news. Her kitty, Thumper, is one of the cats who authorities believe Farmer killed, and she has attended every hearing she could. “We’re here for justice.”
Miriam Petrova, whose cat Gogo was abducted from her yard and is still missing, said, “All I want is for him to stay in jail, and justice for our cats.”
Prosecutors, however, hope they can send Farmer to jail where he belongs. Currently, he faces a maximum of eight years; prosecutors believe he killed four cats and is behind the disappearance or injury of six others.
“We’ve been doing what we can to make sure all of the evidence is processed and that all charges are brought against him for every act we can prove he committed,” prosecutor Alexandra Ellis told the Mercury News.
Farmer is due back in court in May, and he remains in custody at Santa Clara County Main Jail on $125,000 bail.
Via Mercury News
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