The wheels of justice turn slowly — and too often in animal crimes — not at all.
In June 2009, I wrote about Tyler Weinman, the now-19-year-old boy accused of butchering 19 pet cats in the Miami ‘burbs. When I described the charges against him, I was nearly clairvoyant…
Weinman faces 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, four charges of burglary, and 19 counts of improperly disposing of animal carcasses. He could get 158 years in prison, but we all know he won’t.
Weinman spent more than a year under house arrest, but was freed on November 26. The court dismissed all charges against him and declared unspecified “other animals” the murderers.
Yeah, right. Animals carrying scalpels who took the cats somewhere else to partially skin them, remove their faces, or mutilate them in other horrible ways, and then return them to their front lawns and pose them in grotesque positions for maximum shock to their owners.
The verdict couldn’t be more ludicrous if the judge said the cats committed suicide.
How did justice drop the ball? Only 8 of the 19 cats’ bodies were analyzed. Weinman’s DNA was not found on any of them, nor was the cats’ DNA found on anything of Tyler’s. They admitted that testing for animal DNA is seldom done, so who knows how thorough it was?
In spite of plenty of circumstantial evidence, as well as Weinman’s own self-damning comments when he talked to police, such as when he described happily dissecting cats in biology class, or tried to strike a bargain on the charges, the whole case crumbled on questionable DNA testing.
I suspect we’re looking at a kid who’s watched enough Law & Order to know how to cover his tracks. Thanks to an inept court, I bet he’s feeling pretty smug and invincible right now.
Think Joran Van der Sloot after nobody could pin Natalee Holloway’s death on him.
I doubt we’ve heard the last of Tyler Weinman, but the next time his smirking mug shot appears under a headline, it probably won’t be because he killed a small animal.