MIAMI (CBS4) — Tyler Weinman, who had been charged with the killing and mutilating of cats in South Miami-Dade County, is now in the clear after an expert witness determined the cats were killed by predators, and not a human being.
“There was no crime. It was just a witch hunt,” said Weinman as he spoke to reporters from his attorney’s office. “They just went crazy. They wanted a warm body to hold up in front of everybody and it’s terrible.”
His attorney David Macey told CBS4’s Jim DeFede that Tyler found out the charges had been dropped when pre-trial services called him to tell him he could return the ankle monitor because he had been cleared of all charges.
Weinman had been facing facing 21 counts of felony animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body as well as four counts of burglary. Weinman was accused of killing 21 cats in Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay in 2009.
“Don’t be upset that they did this to me,” said Weinman. “Let me take care of that. Be upset that they could have done this to you.”
The State Attorney’s Office noted in a close-out report on the case that it “is interesting to note that upon Tyler Weinman’s arrest, the killings of the cats in Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, and the Kendall area immediately ceased.”
“However, the State Attorney’s Office did not learn that there had been two large, wild dogs seized by animal services the same day as Weinman’s arrest in the neighborhood of Cutler Bay until the deposition of Investigator Fernando Casadevall which was conducted in the fall of 2010.”
Two contract veterinarians from Miami-Dade Animal Services had previously found that the cats were killed by a human being and not a predator.
Defense expert, Dr. Richard K. Stroud, conducted necropsies on the cats that had been preserved and found that the cats had puncture wounds “consistent with bite marks of large predators such as dogs in excess of 50 pounds.”
Dr. Sara Pizano of Miami-Dade Animal Services agreed with Dr. Stroud’s findings and said she should have peeled back the fur in her necropsies, which would have revealed the puncture wounds.
The State Attorney’s office said because of those facts, it is “no longer in a position to prove that all of the cats had been killed by a human being, versus a predator.”
The State Attorney’s office said in the conclusion of the report that the Miami-Dade Animal Services “was simply unprepared and untrained for a case of this magnitude.”
CBS4’s David Sutta contributed to this report.