A San Jose, California, man who killed 21 cats and sexually abused one of their carcasses was sentenced to 16 years in jail on Friday.
Prosecutors claimed that Robert Roy Farmer, 26, lured, tortured, and killed the cats over a two-month period in Fall 2015. Last year, the 26-year-old pleaded guilty to 21 counts of animal cruelty and one count each of misdemeanor battery and being under the influence, according to CBS News.
The Mercury News reported that rumors spread in the tight-knit Cambrian Park neighborhood about a man who attempted to put two cats in a backpack. A veterinarian determined that a cat who escaped sustained “a bite that was not an animal bite, as well as a bleeding head injury,” a resident claimed.
In October 2015, authorities found Farmer inside his car with a dead cat on the center console. Fur and blood also covered the car’s interior. Police later recovered a backpack that contained a hunting knife and a pair of gloves covered in fur, the paper also reported.
Wesley Schroeder argued that a test conducted by a San Jose Animal Services and Care veterinarian showed the cat showed no signs of sexual abuse. However, the same veterinarian testified during a pre-sentencing hearing that sexual abuse couldn’t be ruled out because other physical exams suggested otherwise and “because limited literature in this field says there may be no injuries at all on an animal.”
In a statement read by his lawyer, Farmer claimed meth use caused his depraved behavior.
“Living in a car with feces, blood, urine, fur, and decomposing cat parts—what a mess,” Schroder read, according to KGO. “I now realize that my friends who identified me in the video, and the detectives that arrested me, saved my life.”
Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis called the letter “manipulation.” The prosecutor then cited a court doctor who said Farmer’s personality disorder diagnosis meant he has a “profound lack of empathy and remorse” and experiences “significant anger” towards his own family. The doctor concluded that Farmer’s prognosis was extremely poor, saying that he faces a “potential escalation to higher life forms in the future.”
Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Sharon A. Chatman also credited Farmer for twice the 646 days he served since his arrest. Against prosecutors’ wishes, Farmer will not have to register as a sex offender upon his release. However, he is barred from owning or caring for a cat for 10 years after his release.
In court, many owners of the slain cats expressed displeasure about Friday’s sentencing.
“He will still be young when he’s released. It’s a terrifying thought to think of what could happen if he makes another mistake in his life.”
[Featured Image: Elmwood Correctional Facility]