Sunday, January 31, 2016

California: San Jose accused cat killer Robert Farmer sexually abused at least one of the felines he tortured and killed

CALIFORNIA -- The man accused of stealing, maiming and killing 10 cats in the Cambrian Park neighborhood may have also sexually abused one, according to new documents.

An orange female tabby cat found dead of blunt force trauma in 24-year-old transient Robert Farmer's car during his Oct. 8 arrest also had dilated genitals, according to a necropsy report from the San Jose Animal Care and Services division.

A search of Farmer's car turned up a tub of petroleum jelly along with two cat collars, according to a San Jose Police Department report.

Farmer made a brief court appearance Friday morning but did not enter a plea to any of the 12 charges filed against him, including nine counts of felony animal cruelty, one count of attempted animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count each of battery and being under the influence of methamphetamine.

Farmer's attorney, Wesley Schroeder, instead requested a continuance in the case, which is now being presided over by Santa Clara County Superior Judge Sharon A. Chatman.

In a crowded hallway outside the courtroom, Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis told dozens of people who came for the scheduled plea entry that the request for a continuance -- the third one -- was nothing to worry about.

"The case is proceeding as it should," Ellis said. "It's normal, there's not a problem" he added

Myriam Martinez, who owned Thumper, one of the cats Farmer is suspected of killing, shared the necropsy report with this newspaper; it states the orange tabby had vulva and rectal openings of more than one centimeter each. Martinez also shared crime laboratory documents that report a match between DNA found under the claw clippings of the orange tabby and Farmer.

"I can't describe how I feel for what he did to our pets," Martinez said. "The more we read court documents, the uglier it gets."

Farmer allegedly abducted and killed 10 cats in the Cambrian Park area from mid-September until his arrest near Hillsdale and Leigh avenues, where officers found him asleep in a car with a dead cat hidden inside. Since then, community members have regularly attended Farmer's court appearances, urging prosecutors to seek the harshest punishment possible.

Many attendees were asked by retired Santa Clara County Superior Judge John Garibaldi, who was sitting in for Chatman, to refrain from holding up photos of the cats inside the courtroom for everyone to see. Garibaldi said he believes in freedom of expression but explained that the signs could be considered a demonstration of bias on the court's part and the judicial process needs to be followed by everyone.

Martinez said the group is committed to seeing this case to its conclusion.

"We are here because we want to send a message," Martinez said. "We want to make sure justice is served."

Farmer is being held on $125,000 bail at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. His next court date is Feb. 22 at 9 a.m.

(San Jose Mercury News - Jan 29, 2016)


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