SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A 24-year-old man was arraigned Tuesday on additional charges in an animal cruelty case that targeted cats in San Jose’s Cambrian Park neighborhood about three months ago, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Robert Farmer is now facing a total of 12 charges, 10 of which are related to animal cruelty, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis said.
The case alleges animal cruelty on 10 different cats: four were killed, three are missing and three others are still alive, Ellis said.
He’s also facing misdemeanor charges of battery and using or being under the influence of a controlled substance, she said.
Farmer’s bail was also raised to $125,000, which is above the scheduled amount. He is scheduled for a plea hearing on Jan. 29, Ellis said.
On Tuesday, a group of pet owners showed up outside farmer’s court hearing, demanding justice.
Many held pictures of their slain pets in a silent protest.
“I have to think of my cat, Ga-Ga, and it’s Christmas time,” said Miriam Petrovi, whose cat was among those killed. “We will miss him for the first time in this Christmas.”
“When I saw Farmer today in court, it’s hard to say…hard to tell you the kind of feelings I had that went through my heart, my my soul,” said another cat owner who gave her name only as June. “I mean — “I…I really wanted to hurt him.”
Farmer allegedly started abducting cats in mid-September until his arrest in October, according to Ellis.
He was taken into custody on Oct. 8 when officers found him asleep in a car with a dead cat hidden inside near Hillsdale and Leigh avenues, police said.
Farmer’s attorney Wesley Schroeder still needs to review the amended complaint and evidence received Tuesday in court.
There have been posts on social media of other cats being injured or killed in the general vicinity of the neighborhood since Farmer was booked into the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas, Schroeder said.
The case has “significant emotional overtones” that can lead people to make snap judgments, which Schroeder said was understandable.
Schroeder said he sympathizes with the owners of the cats victimized in the case and all the circumstances still need to be evaluated.
On Friday, the District Attorney’s Office released to the public pictures of two collars belonging to two cats in the case and asked for help in locating the owners, who have since been identified, Ellis said.
Investigators are still looking for the owner of an orange tabby female cat with long hair found inside Farmer’s car when he was arrested, according to Ellis.
Anyone with information on the cat’s owner is asked to call Detective Lauren Erickson at email@example.com.
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