Cat Killer Released on Bond
Posted by shadmia on June 18, 2009
Tyler Hayes Weinman, 18, was arrested early Sunday morning (6/14/09). By Wednesday afternoon he was freed on $249,500 bond after going through a psychological evaluation that determined he was not a danger to himself or anyone else.
Weinman faces a multitude of charges: 19 counts of animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary related to the mutilation and killing of 19 cats in his neighborhood. He could face a sentence of up to 158 years in jail.
Under the terms of his release, Judge Thornton said Weinman will remain under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device and will have to attend outpatient psychotherapy classes twice a week. He will be arraigned on July 6th.
One of his lawyers, Michael Walsh, said after the hearing that police have no evidence and rushed to arrest Weinman because of intense public outcry.
“My son is innocent, and I know he didn’t kill the cats. That will be proven in court. He is gentle with cats, and I am truly moved by the hundreds of people who have shown their support for him,” said Douglas Weinman.
The case against accused serial cat killer Tyler Weinman is based entirely on circumstantial evidence and could depend on the county crime lab’s ability to adapt DNA and other forensic tests typically used for human victims to animals.
Prosecutors are hoping items found during a search of Weinman’s home – including several knives discovered hidden in Weinman’s bedroom – will provide them with the proof they need. Those knives may very well be the key to the case. But forensic tests involving animal blood is not routine. Prosecutors are still waiting to learn if they can match DNA from a dead cat to possible blood found on the knives in Weinman’s bedroom. If prosecutors through blood or DNA evidence can link Weinman to just one dead cat, then they believe their overall case becomes much easier to prove.
The lead prosecutor on the case, Assistant State Attorney Michael Van Zamft, acknowledged they are still trying to sort out what forensic tests are possible, including possible DNA tests.
“Do I think the evidence that we collected from the search warrants will make the case stronger? Yes I do,” said Van Zamft. “Do I think our case is sufficient based on the information we had before the arrest? Yes I do.”