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AUSTIN EDITION Alleged cat-killer appears in court

By Tim Ruzek

truzek@postbulletin.com

A Brownsdale man made his first court appearance Monday for charges he helped his two teenage sons poison cats in their mobile-home park.

William Conner III, 48, had been summoned to appear in Mower District Court on a criminal complaint filed in June. Judge Fred Wellmann set an Aug. 10 arraignment hearing for Conner, court records show.

Conner faces one felony count of cruelty to animals.

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According to the criminal complaint, a Mower County deputy got a report Sept. 13 from a Minnesota Federated Humane Societies member about someone poisoning cats in the Vista Village mobile-home park in Brownsdale. A park resident had called that person.

A Vista Village resident told the deputy that Conner indicated to him he was poisoning cats, the complaint says.

Conner allegedly told the man that if he had a cat, he should keep it on a leash because he was getting rid of excess cats by putting antifreeze in meat and placing it outside for the cats to eat.

Another resident reported he had taken photographs of dead cats in the park and Conner's alleged bait area.

A different Vista Village resident said Conner supervised his sons, who now are 16, as they prepared the bait, the complaint says. That man thought his Siamese cats died as a result of poisoning.

Conner and the two boys allegedly tried rat poison at first to get rid of stray cats, which they considered a big problem in the mobile-home park, according to the complaint. They then began using antifreeze.

One of the boys told the deputy he had seen a few dead cats in the park.

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