Case Snapshot

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Attorneys/Judges
Prosecutor(s): Tiffany Hidalgo
Judge(s): Lorna H. Brumfield


For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.



Friday, Feb 3, 2012

County: Kern

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Jason Louis Wilmert

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

The Kern County Sheriff's Department has released new information about the case of an Oildale man accused of eating cats.

Deputies initially reported to 35-year-old Jason Louis Wilmert's home on the 1000 block of Wilson Avenue on Feb. 3, after a neighbor reported that a man had decapitated a cat in the yard, a news release said Thursday.

A deputy arrived at the house and tried knocking on the front door. When nobody answered, the release said the deputy tried walking into the yard and saw what appeared to be the head of a cat lying on the grass, the release said.

Kern County Animal Control and an additional deputy were called to assist with the incident, according to the release.

As deputies were speaking to neighbors, the release said, a man later identified as Wilmert left the house through the front door and was arrested without incident on suspicion of using cats as a food source and animal cruelty.

Wilmert was also booked on an outstanding warrant for earlier charges of burning in a non-agricultural setting, obstructing an officer and littering, sheriff's department spokesman Ray Pruitt said Thursday.

Pruitt said Thursday that "deputies were able to develop evidence and information that led them to believe he had possessed the cat with the intent to eat it. Other than that I can't provide any more information."

He added that he didn't "know where the cat came from."

Wilmert pleaded not guilty in Kern County Superior Court Feb. 7 to one misdemeanor charge of using animals commonly kept as pets or companions as food, and one misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals, court documents show.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael Yraceburn said Tuesday that he couldn't comment on the case, other than to say that "the individual is being prosecuted for using cats as a food source."

A pretrial hearing in the case is set for Friday at 8:30 a.m., according to the court website.

According to the site, Wilmert remains in custody. His total bail is set at $22,500, the site said.


Case Updates

The Oildale man who achieved a measure of infamy earlier this year after admitting he was going to eat a cat was arrested Friday after deputies found a dog tied up in his back yard.

Jason Wilmert violated his probation by having a domestic animal in his possession, Kern County sheriff's Senior Deputy Ryan Dunbier said. Wilmert told deputies a friend had asked him to watch the dog for a while.

Wilmert was out of custody as Monday evening.

Wilmert pleaded no contest Feb. 17 to a misdemeanor charge of possessing a cat with the intent to use it as food. A charge of animal cruelty was dropped as part of the plea deal.

He was arrested after a neighbor reported a cat had been decapitated in Wilmert's yard, officials have said.
Source: bakersfield.com - Apr 2, 2012
Update posted on Apr 2, 2012 - 10:14PM 
For his own safety, Judge Lorna H. Brumfield said, camera crews weren't allowed to film 35-year-old Jason Wilmert in Kern County Superior Court Friday morning as he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge that he had possessed a cat with the intent to use it as food.

The Oildale man was arrested earlier this month after a neighbor reported that a cat had been decapitated in Wilmert's yard in the 1000 block of Wilson Avenue.

Sheriff's deputies found an animal carcass in his house and developed evidence he planned to use it for food, officials have said.

A second charge of animal cruelty was dropped as part of the plea deal, and three charges filed in 2005 that Wilmert had burned something in a non-agricultural setting, obstructed a peace officer and littered were dismissed due to lack of a speedy trial.

He was sentenced to three years of probation, 40 hours of community service and a $235 fine. As part of his probation, he must also stay away from all "companion animals" and seek services from Kern County Mental Health.

Wilmert was also sentenced to 30 days in jail, which he has already served either in time behind bars or through good behavior credits.

Wilmert, who has blondish hair and a short beard, sat quietly in court. He showed little emotion outside of a furrowed brow and a mostly downcast gaze.

Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Hidalgo, who prosecuted the case, said the plea deal was a "fair resolution." She called it a unique case.

"Not to say (cat eating) doesn't happen," but the charge was certainly unusual, Hidalgo said.

As for the wide public outrage expressed over the case, she said, "I think naturally there's a sentiment of that for animals traditionally kept as pets."
Source: bakersfieldcalifornian.com - Feb 17, 2012
Update posted on Feb 17, 2012 - 3:00PM 

References

« CA State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Kern County, CA

Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.

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