A 22-year-old man from Illinois has been charged with multiple felony counts of animal cruelty and torture after allegedly microwaving and killing at least four cats in his apartment. Thomas Martel turned himself in to the police on Monday following a complaint filed by a woman who accused him of animal cruelty. The Chicago Police Department has charged Martel with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. He also faces two counts of animal torture.
According to an arrest report, Martel is accused of mutilating, fatally drowning, and squeezing three cats. Authorities discovered the remains of three cats in a bag at Martel’s residence in Wicker Park. Martel’s girlfriend, who filed the complaint, claimed that he microwaved the cats before placing them in a plastic bag. She also alleged that Martel would buy lookalike cats named Shelly to replace the ones he had killed, so as not to raise suspicion.
During Martel’s bail hearing, Judge Kelly McCarthy noted a disturbing pattern of behavior, stating that Martel would kill a cat, replace it, and then repeat the cycle. This pattern continued for a sustained period of time, resulting in the loss of numerous animals’ lives. Martel’s girlfriend became aware of his alleged actions after receiving a video of him throwing a pillowcase, believed to contain his cat named Shelly, into Lake Michigan. She also claimed that Martel had admitted to microwaving three cats and storing their remains in a cabinet in his apartment.
Authorities revealed that Martel had confessed to his girlfriend that he enjoyed killing cats and had been doing so since he was eight years old. The girlfriend also witnessed Martel drowning one of his cats while he was heavily intoxicated and under the influence of narcotics.
As a result, Judge McCarthy set Martel’s bail at $75,000 and imposed special conditions, including electronic monitoring, a ban on contact with any animals, and the removal of all cats from his home.