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Charges Dropped Against Florida Teen in Cat Killings

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Dirk Vander Ploeg's picture

From Associated Press:

 

A Florida teen no longer faces animal cruelty charges in a string of cat killings with prosecutors saying Wednesday that the defense showed some of the cats may have been killed by other animals.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office dropped the charges against 19-year-old Tyler Weinman, who was arrested in June 2009 following a two-month string of cat deaths in Miami-Dade County. Police and prosecutors, however, defended their decision to charge Weinman.

Veterinarians working with authorities concluded that 19 of 33 total cats found were killed by a human.

But a forensic veterinarian hired by Weinman's attorneys found puncture marks consistent with large animal bites on the eight cat carcasses that had been preserved. The veterinarians who made the original report admitted that the defense expert was correct. Authorities had no other carcasses to examine.

Defense attorney David Macey said Weinman was innocent and unfortunately lived in the middle of where the deaths happened.

"It was the wrong place at the wrong time," Macey said of Weinman. "Unfortunately, he had to spend 18 months under house arrest while justice took its course."

Weinman said police targeted him.

"There was no crime, it was just a witch hunt," he said at a news conference. "They just went crazy and wanted a warm body to hold up in front of everybody."

Miami-Dade Police Department officials in a statement, however, stood by their conclusion that Weinman is the cat killer, but said they respected the prosecutors' decision. 

Story continues here: http://www.ksby.com/news/charges-dropped-against-teen-in-fla-cat-killings/ 

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