Monday, December 11, 1989

Georgia: Prosecutors said Mitchell Munoz is dangerous and wanted him hospitalized, but Judge Wayne Purdom turned him loose among us

GEORGIA -- A man accused of torturing and killing at least 77 cats is out of jail, but a judge ordered him to find a job, begin intense psychotherapy, and spend his nights at home while awaiting trial.

Mitchell M. Munoz, a 34-year-old unemployed Emory Law School graduate, was released Friday after Judge Wayne Purdom reduced his bond from $75,000 to $25,000 while imposing the restrictions.

Munoz was arrested in October after a photo processor notified police that film dropped off by Munoz showed cats that had been tortured.

Before making the arrest, officers said they discovered photographs of dead kittens, three severed cat tails under a bathroom sink and written diaries documenting when the cats were acquired, how they behaved and what torture and abuse was done to them.

 A nylon rope hanging from the bathroom shower rod -- used to hang kittens -- also was found, officers said.

At a hearing Friday, prosecutors said Munoz is dangerous and should be hospitalized. But Judge Purdom clearly doesn't think the torture deaths of nearly 100 animals (or more) is that big of a deal; he sided with Munoz's attorney that the bond be reduced.

No trial date has been set.

(AP - Dec 11, 1989)