EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 6, 2013

Accused cat killer agrees to stay in jail as case continues

BEVERLY — A Beverly man charged with torturing and killing his mother’s cat waived his right to a “dangerousness” hearing yesterday.

Instead, Anthony Geyer, 21, agreed to be held in custody without bail while charges of animal cruelty and witness intimidation are pending. That decision averted a hearing where prosecutors were expected to detail not only the results of a necropsy on 6-month-old Spooky, but Geyer’s “lengthy” criminal record.

Geyer was charged after his birth mother, Cheri Brown, returned home from a hospital stay to find her cat dead. Neighbors said they had seen Geyer abusing it. His mother believed he had done it in retaliation, because she had called police about a domestic assault that resulted in Geyer’s being arrested the previous week.

Prosecutor Lynsey Legier had been prepared to submit a stack of documents that included Geyer’s criminal record in Illinois, where he was raised by adoptive parents; incident reports from his Illinois arrests; restraining orders taken out by Brown as well as his biological father, who lives in Amesbury; photos of the kitten; and articles on the links between animal cruelty and violence toward humans.

A series of witnesses, including Brown and Beverly police Patrolman Dan Brown, were also present to testify.

Defense lawyer Steve Reardon, however, objected to Legier’s filing the documents in court, which would have made them public, and Judge Sabita Singh decided she would not accept them.

Besides the pending domestic abuse allegation involving his mother, Geyer’s record includes a felony domestic abuse charge and conviction in Tremont, Ill., in 2010, and an arrest last year in Peoria, Ill., where he and a second man were charged in a three-month vandalism spree that involved slashing tires on more than 50 cars, according to the Peoria, Ill. Journal-Star newspaper. The outcome of the second case was not reported.

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