A California man was sentenced to 16 years in jail for killing 21 cats and sexually abusing a dead one nearly 2 years after cats began disappearing from people’s homes in San Jose’s Cambrian Park neighborhood.
Robert Roy Farmer, 26, was arrested in October 2015 after police found him sleeping in his car with an unidentified orange tabby cat dead and curled up in the center console, along with chunks of fur, blood and a hunting knife.
Farmer, the son of a retired San Jose Police Department captain, was originally charged with three felony counts of animal cruelty, but later forensic evidence from his car lead to 21 charges of felony animal cruelty, the Mercury News reported.
Further evidence came to light when video footage from local resident Miriam Petrova’s security camera revealed Farmer luring the family’s 17-year-old orange tabby cat named GoGo from a front veranda. GoGo was never found.
Interviews by police revealed that family members and acquaintances of Farmer were frightened of him. An elderly woman who let Farmer stay with her and her grandson said that he abused her cat and hit her grandson in the face. Her grandson also told her that Farmer had commented once about “what it would feel like to kill a person.”
Farmer pleaded guilty last year to 21 felony counts of animal cruelty and one count each of misdemeanor battery and being under the influence and in court had a prepared letter read in court that read, “‘It feels like another man committed these crimes, but I know it was me. It’s so hard to grasp I did this. I stole a member of their family. The fact that I was out of my mind was no excuse.’”
However, Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis argued that Farmer’s letter was a “manipulation” and contradicted his diagnosis with antisocial personality disorder and mental health reports that revealed a man with a “profound lack of empathy and remorse” for his crimes and “significant anger” toward his family and who posed a possible danger to the community.
Judge Sharon A. Chatman handed down the sentence of 16 years in prison and ordered Farmer to stay away from cats for 10 years after his release from jail.