Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

California man sentenced to 16 years in prison for killing 21 cats

California man sentenced to 16 years in prison for killing 21 cats

Farmer was caught with a hunting knife and fur-covered gloves inside his fluff-and-blood-spattered motor.

Prosecutors also alleged that he sexually abused at least one of the cats, but the 26-year-old avoided having to register as a sex offender, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Without the sex registration requirement, Farmer will serve his sentence in county jail, not prison.

The courtroom was packed with the pet owners and their families, neighbors and other animal lovers, many of whom were wearing purple ribbons with white cat paws. Stine was surprised when McKimmie said her cat went missing the same morning as his 16-year-old orange tabby cat Chablis, who still has not been seen to this day.

During the sentencing the name of every cat killed by the defendant, Robert Farmer, was read aloud by a judge, to remind Farmer of the crimes he had committed, reported NBC Bay Area.

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Farmer admitted 21 felony counts of animal cruelty - killing 18 cats and wounding three - along with misdemeanour battery and being under the influence.

Farmer will not be allowed back within 100 yards of the Cambrian Park neighborhood. Residents pointed police to Farmer. He also was accused of hitting his landlady's grandson in the head.

When Farmer is released, he will have to register for probation until the terms of his entire 16-year sentence are satisfied.

Dr. Sharon Ostermann, a veterinarian for San Jose Animal Care and Services, testified in a pre-sentencing hearing that "Tabby Doe" turned out to have injuries consistent with post-mortem sexual assault.

Tests carried out by vets found signs of sexual abuse on a ginger tabby found in Farmer's auto when he was arrested, but the abuse was denied by defence lawyer Wesley Schroeder. Ellis argued that Farmer's molestation of the dead cat was sexually motivated but Schroeder proffered other theories.

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"Robert Farmer is a monster", Petrova said. Torture was another possibility that Schroeder also mentioned but Ellis said that wasn't possible.

"He likes to hurt living things", Chatman said.

But the judge ordered him to stay away from cats for 10 years after his release and away from the 95124 Cambrian Park ZIP code area.

"It's still painful to come home knowing GoGo isn't waiting for us", she added.

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