, Salem, MA

March 1, 2013

Hearing delayed in cat abuse case


---- — BEVERLY — The dangerousness hearing for a Beverly man charged with torturing and killing his mother’s 6-month-old kitten last week has been postponed after the suspect was assigned a new attorney yesterday.

“Will he make the voices stop?” asked Anthony Geyer, 21, after Salem District Court Judge Matthew Machera told him he would see the lawyer Tuesday.

Geyer was also arraigned yesterday on a new charge of witness intimidation, after his mother told investigators that she believes the death of her cat was retaliation for her call to police about a domestic dispute that resulted in Geyer being arrested the prior week.

Geyer allegedly dragged the black and white tuxedo cat named Spooky on an old dog leash through puddles and snowbanks on the evening of Feb. 20. Geyer’s mother came home from a brief hospital stay to find the kitten, frozen, in her sink.

Geyer’s former attorney, William Barabino, suggested that his client has psychological problems and questioned whether he was competent to take part in court proceedings last week.

A court clinic psychologist met with Geyer yesterday morning but did not make a public report on his findings.

Barabino was forced to withdraw from the case after discovering that one of the neighbors who spoke to police about the incident was a former client, creating a conflict of interest.

Another lawyer, Steve Reardon, who had represented Geyer in the domestic assault case, will now take on the charges of animal cruelty and witness intimidation.

Geyer remains held without bail at Middleton Jail.