Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Ellis announced April 6 that the next day’s scheduled hearing “was postponed because the defense expert is not available.”
A new hearing has been set for May 12 at 10 a.m.
|Robert Farmer is the son of a retired|
San Jose Police Captain
Ellis assured a group of residents who have closely followed the case against Robert Roy Farmer, 26, for more than a year that the latest development was not a ploy by the defense team to delay proceedings. She said prosecutors twice have been ready to put an animal control officer on the stand, though they haven’t indicated what the officer is expected to testify.
Farmer’s attorney, Wesley Schroeder, also kept mum despite enlisting the services of a San Francisco forensic psychologist for the hearing.
Superior Court Judge Sharon A. Chatman told attorneys last month she wants to hear from the psychologist who had previously examined Farmer before she decides whether he should register as a sex offender after he’s ultimately released from prison for having also sexually abused one of the cats.
Farmer has been in custody at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas since October 2015, when San Jose police found him asleep inside his car with a dead cat next to him. Farmer pleaded guilty last year to 21 felony counts of animal cruelty and one count each of misdemeanor battery and being under the influence.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys have focused on a San Jose Animal Care and Service necropsy report that could influence whether the judge orders Farmer to register as a sex offender.
The report states the female orange tabby cat had vulva and rectal openings of more than one centimeter each and that a DNA match between Farmer and the cat was found under its claws.
But Schroeder has questioned those findings. In an email, he told the Resident a “(tuolidine blue) test designed to highlight abrasions or subtle trauma from sexual assault failed to show any evidence of even the most minuscule trauma.”
More DNA testing linked Farmer to a total of 21 feline victims.
Although it is unclear whether anyone in California has had to register for sexually abusing an animal, Ellis has said the judge has the authority to make that decision. In a previous interview, Ellis said that “under California law, any crime–any crime–that is motivated by a sexual desire, intent, gratification, there’s discretionary registration.”
Farmer could face up to 16 years in prison.
(Mercury News - April 17, 2017)
- California: Suspected cat killer, Robert Farmer, is the son of a retired San Jose police captain
- California: San Jose accused cat killer Robert Farmer sexually abused at least one of the felines he tortured and killed
- California: Suspected cat killer Robert Farmer, 24, pleads not guilty to animal cruelty charges
- California: More animal cruelty charges filed against accused cat killer, Robert Farmer, who may have also raped the cats