Broward criminal attorney William Moore has been following the cat killer saga since it began several months ago, when Fort Lauderdale-Dade residents in the communities of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay began, tragically, to find their pet cats tortured, mutilated, and left dead on their front yards. Last month, Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore learned that law enforcement officials had made an arrest in the cat slayings, charging 18-year-old Tyler Weinman with the killings. Weinman faces 19 counts of improperly disposing of animal remains, 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, and four counts of burglary in connection with the Fort Lauderdale-Dade County cat deaths. Weinman is currently out of jail on a hefty bond — $249,500, up from the $100,000 bond he was originally given.
Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore says that, in a somewhat unusual move, authorities sealed the arrest affidavit. In fact, Weinman’s representative was permitted only to look at the document, but not to keep a copy. The law enforcement agency and the State Attorney’s Office insisted that the sealing was necessary due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. In fact, prosecutors hinted that additional arrests might be forthcoming as the investigation progressed.
Now, weeks later, Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore has discovered that the judge subsequently ordered prosecutors to unseal the arrest affidavit. Information that led to Weinman’s arrest has been made public, including the fact that Weinman was found in the vicinity of mutilated cats on two occasions. He laughed when a law enforcement official advised him to keep his own pet cats indoors. In May, Weinman was stopped in his car and eventually arrested for possession of marijuana as a result of the stop. Police impounded his car and found a cutting tool they believe was used in the mutilations. Weinman had thrown the tool outside of the vehicle during the traffic stop. Police later attached a monitoring device to his vehicle, which placed him near another cat slaying. He also described dissecting cats in his anatomy class and showed off scratches on his arm to a police officer, which he explained were from feeding a feral cat.
The case against Weinman has been described as highly circumstantial and the arrest affidavit shows that police do not have a “smoking gun” linking the teenager to the crime. Weinman does not seem to have made incriminating statements to police, beyond discussing his cat scratches and the cat dissection he performed in school. Police called him a “sociopath” for his alleged involvement. The teen remains on house arrest pending trial. No cat slayings have been reported in weeks.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.