MIAMI, Fla. (CBS/AP) Accused kitty killer Tyler Weinman became "excited and animated" when discussing obtaining cats for dissection from Mexico, according to an affidavit released Monday in which investigators call him a sociopath. But the affidavit provided little new evidence directly linking Weinman to the killing of more than a dozen cats in South Florida.
Weinman, 18, has been charged with 19 counts each of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body. He also faces four counts of burglary related to the cat deaths. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
According to the newly released affidavit, investigators encountered Weinman early on the morning of May 14 in the area of the cat killings. The document says he laughed when detectives told him that there were cat deaths in the area. On May 15, police again found him in the area. Informed about the cat killings, he again laughed, this time at an officer's suggestion that he keep his cats inside, the affidavit says.
Read the affidavit in full at CBS Affiliate CBS 4 Miami.>
Weinman lives with his mother in Palmetto Bay. The killings occurred in Palmetto Bay and neighboring Cutler Bay in May and June of this year.
Later on May 15, officers stopped Weinman at a traffic stop and searched his car. In addition to impounding approximately one gram of marijuana, police discovered a cutting instrument outside the car on the driver's side, the affidavit says.
During a subsequent interrogation at the police department, an officer noticed scratches on Weinman's neck, court records show. He told an investigator that he "got them from a stray cat that I feed at my mom's house." The affidavit notes that he eagerly showed investigators additional scratches.
Weinman told investigators that he has lived with his mother since his parents' divorce two years ago, and that he despises his father. Weinman's father has spoken publicly in his son's defense.
According to the affidavit, Weinman said he had been expelled from two Miami area high schools, in the first instance for marijuana possession. He told investigators he believed he didn't have to attend high school because his grades were "off the chart."
He went on tell investigators that one high school he attended - Palmetto Senior High School - was the only one in Miami-Dade County where cat dissections take place in class and that he was enrolled in one of the classes.
He informed them that cats for dissection can no longer be obtained from the U.S., but only from Mexico, an issue he said he had researched on the Internet. The affidavit notes that Weinman became "excited and animated" as he described the cats supplied from Mexico. He stated that when the skin is torn from a cat "it makes a certain sound."
According to the affidavit, staff doctors working for the police concluded that the behavior exhibited by the perpetrator was symptomatic of a conduct disorder that in an adult would be "referred to as a sociopath."
In order to make their case against Weinman, investigators tracked his cell phone and had a tracking device in his car.
The affidavit notes that he had joined the Facebook group "Catch-the-Cat-Killer".
VIDEO COURTESY OF AFFILIATE CBS 4 MIAMI
But the affidavit does not bring much new evidence against Weinman to light. The report does not mention witnesses who saw Weinman kill the cats and doesn't detail new physical evidence directly linking Weinman to any of the crime scenes.
Two deficiencies that Weinman's lawyer, David Macey, was quick to play up. "It's really important to note that there's not one single witness in there that says Tyler Weinman touched a cat," said Macey.
According to CBS 4, when asked about that, the fill-in prosecutor Elijah Levitt issued a terse sentence: "That's not true."
Macey called the psychological analysis "junk science," and said it will be proven false.
Earlier police had removed box cutters, several knives, hypodermic needles and a metal dental tool from Weinman's possession, according to court documents. They also took an iPod, computer equipment, a pair of shoes and a piece of paper that contained typed directions. Macey argued that the items, which were taken from Weinman and his parents, did not represent "the fruit of criminal activity" and are unrelated to any crimes.
PREVIOUSLY ON CRIMESIDER
June 17, 2009 - Breaking: Alleged Kitty Killer's Father Speaks Out
June 17, 2009 - Alleged Kitty Killer Makes Bail
June 16, 2009 - $249,500 Bond For Alleged Cat Serial Killer
June 15, 2009 - Cat's In The Bag; Kitty Killer Caught, Say Police
June 10, 2009 - Kitty Serial Killer? 20 Fla. Cats Murdered In A Month