Cat Killer in Court
Posted by shadmia on June 16, 2009
18-year-old Tyler Hayes Weinman went before Judge Mindy Glazer on Monday 6/15/09. He was arrested the day before by Miami-Dade police on 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body and 4 counts of burglary.
Weinman appeared before the judge wearing a prison-issued suicide gown, a one-piece garment designed to limit an inmate’s ability to hurt himself.
Tyler Weinman is no stranger to feline anatomy, he dissected the animals last year in class at Palmetto High. Anatomy teacher Lynn Evans, a self-described animal lover, said she was shocked to learning her quiet former student had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.
”I don’t know how we can bridge the gap between a controlled [classroom] situation, to what this disturbed young man has done,” Evans said in an interview, adding that about 8,000 of her students have dissected cats during her 24 years of teaching anatomy.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer ordered Weinman held on $249,500 bond, and ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he is a risk to himself or others. If and when he is released, he will be on house arrest, monitored via an electronic ankle bracelet. If convicted of all charges, Weinman could face a maximum sentence of 158 years in prison. Police said Tyler Hayes Weinman was twice arrested as a juvenile, but could not disclose details.
David W. Macey, Weinman’s attorney, objected to the judge’s decision, saying he was not given enough time to prepare for the hearing. He also complained that his young client had been interviewed by police for more than eight hours and had been kept awake for 24 hours following his arrest.
”I can say the investigation is being led by a lynch-mob mentality, steam-rolling Mr. Weinman’s constitutional rights,” Macey said after the hearing.
“It’s a sad day for the Constitution because Mr. Weinman is innocent,” Macey said. “The individual who committed this crime is still running around out there.”
“My heart and my sympathy goes out to the owners of these pets, but unfortunately it won’t provide them any relief that Tyler is in custody. Tyler is innocent,” Macey said.
According to Katy Sorenson, Miami-Dade County Commissioner:
“I understand that pet owners feel very strongly about their little family members. Animals bring happiness and comfort to our lives. So, to see them so violated and mutilated just defies all common sense and it’s painful for everyone involved. Thankfully, for this community, the terror has come to an end.”
19-year-old Kyle Hantzis, who said his father dates Weinman’s mother, called Weinman quiet and well-spoken. Hantzis said he had a hard time picturing the teen as a serial cat killer.
“I don’t think, the way he acts and his demeanor, I don’t think he could physically do it.
If they do get the wrong guy and it’s not him, they’ve ruined his life as it is right now,” said Kyle Hantzis
Weinman’s friend, Alex Falgons said “If he didn’t do it, somebody really framed him really good.” Falgons said he has known Weinman since middle school and suspects the killing spree had to do with his new stepmother, who recently moved into Weinman’s father’s home in Palmetto Bay with at least a dozen of her cats.
Weinman’s father, Douglas Weinman, is a dentist, and his office was closed Monday. His mother, Aiba Weinman, is a life coach, according to her Web site. She, too, was not around to comment on her son’s arrest. For more on the life of Tyler Weinman see this post.
“This terrible time has drawn us together as a community, further emphasizing the importance of knowing our neighbors, communicating with each other, and always staying vigilant to suspicious activities whenever or wherever they may occur in our village,” said Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn.