SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 7, 2014

Beverly man jailed in torture, death of kitten

BEVERLY — The 6-month-old tuxedo kitten likely suffered for some period of time, a veterinarian concluded.

Spooky suffered multiple traumatic injuries, which didn’t kill the cat immediately. Instead, the kitten died slowly, from a combination of those injuries and hypothermia, the necropsy concluded.

The man responsible for the kitten’s death last year, Anthony Geyer, was sentenced yesterday to 21/2 years in jail for animal cruelty, to be followed by five years of probation on two other charges, and residential mental health treatment.

He is also barred from owning or caring for any animals during his probation.

Salem District Court Judge Michael Lauranzano said Geyer’s actions in February 2013, when he was left alone with the creature while his mother was hospitalized, were “horrible, absolutely horrible. Beyond the pale.”

That said, “We have to figure out what we’re going to do with Mr. Geyer,” the judge added.

“I think it is my responsibility to fashion a disposition that addresses Mr. Geyer’s history (of mental health issues) and needs so ... we don’t run into these same issues in the future.”

Geyer, 22, was staying with his mother in her Cabot Street apartment last year when she had to be hospitalized.

When she returned, she discovered the kitten in the freezer, dead, she told police.

Neighbors then reported seeing Geyer dragging the kitten, howling, through cold, icy puddles and snowbanks, outside, and one noticed that the animal’s rear legs did not seem to be working.

His mother, Cherie Brown, subsequently reported that prior to entering the hospital, Geyer had threatened and assaulted her, leading to his arrest on domestic assault charges. She believes the torture and killing of her cat was retaliation for the arrest.

There had been a long-troubled history between Geyer and his mother, who lost custody of him when he was about 5; he was later adopted by an Illinois family.

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