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Man pleads guilty to mutilating cats

A man charged with adopting cats and then killing one and mutilating another pleaded guilty in Baltimore court today.

Prosecutors said Ethan Phillip Weibman faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced in February and was ordered to not have any contact with animals. Police and prosecutors said he brought the injured and dead cats back to a store and a vet and asked to adopt more.

The suspect is a well-to-do young man who grew up in a million-dollar home in affluent Westchester County, N.Y., and attended Hampshire College. He listed David Foster Wallace and Hunter S. Thompson among his favorite writers on his Facebook page.

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His mother, Carol Weibman, professed his innocence when Sun reporter Jill Rosen reached her this summer, even while expressing frustration in her son's lawyer's warning for her not to talk. "It's hard, especially when you want to shout out your innocence to the world," she said. "I wish I could say more, but my lips, unfortunately, are sealed."

Here is a statement from the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office:

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Baltimore City District Court Judge Charles Chiapparelli accepted a guilty plea from Ethan Weibman today for the mutilation of two cats earlier this year.

On March 20, 2011, the Maryland SPCA opened an investigation of Weibman after he returned a recently adopted cat to the shelter deceased. The cat's death was attributed to a wound inflicted by a BB gun shot. Less than three weeks later, Weibman took a second cat suffering from blunt force trauma to an area veterinarian.

Based on the investigation, evidence found at Weibman's residence, and the medical examiner's review, Weibman was charged.

Weibman pled guilty to two counts of felony mutilation of an animal and possessing, discharging, and using a gas, air-pellett gun. Scheduled for sentencing on February 1, 2012, Weibman faces a maximum of three years in prison. Weibman also was ordered not to have contact with any animals pending sentencing.

Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Etheridge prosecuted the case.

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