Former Minn. man takes Alford plea in cat-killing case
MOORHEAD — A former Moorhead man who was charged earlier this year with three felony counts of mistreating or torturing animals in connection with the death of three cats pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to one of the charges.
Jalan Isaac Greer, 24, of Rapid City, S.D., entered what's known as an Alford plea, meaning he did not take responsibility but agreed a jury might find him guilty based on the evidence.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing hearing was set for Monday, Nov. 20, in Clay County District Court. The remaining counts against Greer are to be dismissed at sentencing.
The maximum sentence for the charge is two years behind bars, but prosecutor Pam Harris said the actual maximum will probably be something less than a year, given Greer's likely criminal history score.
According to court documents filed with the charges:
Police were called to Greer's south Moorhead apartment on Jan. 19 on a report that a cat could be heard crying and making sounds like it was fighting for its life.
Officers found a dead cat on the floor of Greer's apartment.
Greer initially told police he brought the cat, named Oreo, home and it suddenly died. He later told police he may have squeezed the cat harder than he should have.
The charge Greer pleaded guilty to involved Oreo.
Greer also told police another cat died while he was petting it and that he may have been hanging onto the cat's neck too tightly.
A female witness told police about a third cat, named Smokey, that allegedly died while in Greer's care. The witness said Greer told her the cat died after a small towel rod fell on it, and she said Greer sent her a photo showing the dead cat lying on a bathroom floor with a towel rod across its chest.
When police asked Greer why he had killed three cats, he answered that he was fearful of cats and may have killed them while he was blacked out, court documents stated.