Judge sentences California man accused of torturing, killing cats

Cat killer who lured pets from people's homes is jailed for 16 years

Cat killer who lured pets from people's homes is jailed for 16 years

Robert Roy Farmer, who pleaded guilty a year ago to 21 counts of animal cruelty as well as misdemeanor battery and being under the influence, lured some of his prey from their homes in San Jose, California. But the same veterinarian testified during a pre-sentencing hearing in May that the possibility couldn't be eliminated because other physical exams showed otherwise and "because limited literature in this field says there may be no injuries at all on an animal".

After Farmer is released in 2030, he will be on "mandatory supervision", a strict form of probation, for three years. Chatman noted that Farmer preyed on elderly, trusting cats who were beloved by many in the Cambrian Park neighborhood.

Farmer was arrested in October 2015 after San Jose police officers found him asleep in his vehicle with an orange female tabby cat squeezed inside a center console. In an interview a year ago, Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis said surveillance video helped detectives track the suspect down, "Our hearts go out to the families that were affected by this crime, and we look forward to Mr. Farmer being held accountable for these heinous acts", she said. The charges carry a penalty of up to 16 years in prison, and prosecutors urged the maximum sentence. Inside his auto, officers also found multiple cat collars, along with the carcass of an orange tabby cat, according to police. "Living in a auto with feces, blood, urine, fur, and decomposing cat parts- what a mess", said Wesley Schroder, reading Farmer's statement. Crime laboratory reports also stated a match was found between Farmer and DNA found under claw clippings.

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That cat - referred to as "Tabby Doe" in court proceedings - became the focal point of the prosecution's argument for requiring Farmer to register as a sex offender when he's eventually released from jail.

"You can't torture a dead cat", she said.

But the judge declined that request. Many in the audience cried as owners read victim-impact statements.

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Judge Chatman ordered Farmer to stay away from cats for 10 years after his release from jail. Farmer listened with his back turned to the crowd the entire time.

"GoGo never hurt anybody", she added, before addressing Farmer directly: "And for you, Robert Farmer-what have you done to GoGo?"

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