VIDEO: Man accused of kidnapping, killing cats in San Jose
Every seat in the courtroom was filled. Many held pictures of their cats that have gone missing or have been found dead. The judge rejected a defense motion to release Robert Farmer. Instead he imposed bail of $75,000, which is above the scheduled amount for a crime of this type.
Farmer, the son of a retired San Jose Police Department captain, was formally charged with animal cruelty and other related crimes. The prosecutor said he had been abducting, hurting, and killing cats since mid-September. She thanked community members for coming forward with information.
"The victims that Mr. Farmer targeted were speechless victims," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis. "They couldn't help us with this investigation."
A cat owner in the packed courtroom was forced to leave when she objected loudly to a motion to release Farmer on his own recognizance. She was one of dozens of residents of San Jose's Cambrian neighborhood who attended.
"I do not want to see this guy loose," said San Jose resident Mary Crowder. "I think he's a danger to people too."
Another resident said, "He needs to be in a mental institution."
Myriam Martinez says her cat was found bludgeoned to death, "You know what, cats are just as human," she said. "And I'm just really upset."
Police arrested the 24-year-old transient last Thursday, and found him sleeping in his car with a dead cat.
VIDEO: SJ woman says video shows beloved cat stolen from yard
Police say he matched the description of a catnapper seen in security video. In the clip, you see a man steal Marian Petrova's cat named Gogo from the front yard of her home in San Jose's Cambrian District last month.
After ABC7 News began reporting on the possibility of a serial cat abductor, other neighbors told us they too had cats missing or found dead of blunt trauma force.
One cat was found in a ritualistic burial in a box, wrapped in plastic with rocks piled on top.
On Tuesday, GoGo's owner came to Farmer's arraignment.
"I can't look at him," said Petrova. "He was so bad. GoGo is still missing, we don't know what happened to him."