Serial Cat Killer Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison after Guilty Plea

A serial cat killer who abducted and tortured a number of household pets in San Jose was sentenced Friday to a maximum term of 16 years behind bars. Robert Roy Farmer, 26, is set to serve 13 years, with credit for time served.

The San Jose native pleaded guilty in October to 21 felony counts of animal cruelty. Prosecutors accused Farmer of sexually abusing one of the dead cats, but Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Sharon Chatman rejected that claim and did not require him to register as a sex offender.

Police say Farmer killed up to 16 cats, most of them from the Cambrian Park neighborhood, over several months in 2015. The killing spree forced pet owners to keep their outdoor cats inside after several disappeared.

According to the Mercury News, Farmer wrote in a letter that it felt like another person committed the crimes.

“It’s so hard to grasp I did this,” Farmer wrote, according to the report. “I stole a member of their family. The fact that I was out of my mind was no excuse.”

Animal rights activists and victims demanded a strict sentencing for Farmer. They created an online petition, which garnered tens of thousands of signatures, and wrote letters to the judge. They also created a Facebook group called “Justice for our CATZ.”

On Friday, the morning of the sentencing, Justice for CATZ co-founder Miriam Petrova applauded the outcome and the public’s support for the victims.

“You have shown that our pets are not things, but loving family members who have feelings and have a soul and deserve justice,” she wrote. “On their behalf, we want to thank you for being the voices for our voiceless animals.”


  1. We’ve reached the point where we’re going to need some earplugs for Lady Justice, as a blindfold is no longer sufficient. Young Mr. Farmer, no doubt in need of a stiff dose of justice, got that and then some — the then some courtesy of the crazy cat ladies’ very loud effect on our criminal justice system. Sixteen years on a guilty plea? What’s the political breakdown on that, four years mob appeasement for every sixteen months of criminal punishment?

    Keep this up and before long we’ll have bleachers and cheerleading stages right in the courtroom, after which will come the cameras and the reality hit, “America’s Got Justice,” where every moron or emotional basket-case with a smartphone can give both the judge and jury crucial guidance on the administration of popularity.

    • As demonstrated by many commenters, oftentimes including myself, it’s easy to get distracted and focus on the more sensational details of articles.
      My compliments finfan on your singular knack for consistently recognizing what’s truly significant and consequential in any given story.

  2. It will be interesting to see how much it will cost to incarcerate Mr. Farmer for 16 years. It seems Mr. Farmer hasguy has issues but it is hard to imagine what can be done about it. Some readers will say that this is not about the costs, but justice, but that is a term I don’t fully understand the meaning of.

    Is 16 years some sort of deterent to scare off the legions of other cat killers?

    Is it punishment?

    Is it vengence?

  3. How do you sexualy abuse a dead cat? Who is this person? How do you have that kind of mindset in the first place to kill a defenseless animal. There is no good thing here, but to plaster this idiot’s face all over the place on billboards and posters. What happend to he serves the full term with zero time off for time served? All crime is bad, but this goes beyond the scope of behavior. Comon Mercury News put a picture up of this parasite that’s suitable for framing.

  4. OK, what he did was bad. As the owner of many cute bunnies myself, I would go berserk if anyone would to touch my “family members”. But we are talking about animals here, not people. Mr. Farmer should get five years max and he should spend those five years repaying his victims’ “family members” for his crimes.

    Seriously folks, 16 years for killing animals? Come on…

    • His actions are precursors to more crime-on humans, and the repeated number of victims suggests an even more twisted mind. I agree wt the sentencing and am damn tired of people saying to go easy on those that are mentally ill. There are thousands of mentally ill people who do not do this. There’s a difference between ill and straight deranged.

      • This parasite won’t get 16 years, he won’t even get 8 years and then not even that. Yeah Luong, this is America, love it or leave it. Killing any animal is a crime and using “mental illness,” as an excuse makes me sick. I hope when this sick person gets paroled, can’t get a job and try to live a life of freedom, that his crime/crimes really set in.

  5. Was it a bad crime, yes, especially if you have had a cat or were one of the owners who lost one to that guy. A long sentence influeced by cat owners, probably. But if you don’t know serial killers often kill animals first, you should go read up about it. Even Jeffrey Dahmer was fixated on dead animals. So locking him up, albeit longer than most more dangerous criminals that do worse might be the best thing for the public. Afterall, he said he didn’t know who the person was who committed those acts. Sounds like the seial killer’s anthem.

    • AJ – I was not aware that is how America worked. If someone acts in a certain way that could predict some worse crime in the future, lwe sentence them a rediculous amount of time? in case he turns into Jeffery Dahmer? Even Phillip K Dick thought that was a terrible idea, and he was full blown postmodernist.

  6. I’m not in favor of killing an animal unless you are going to eat it but to go overboard regarding a “family member” who these people let roam around loose, outside, during the day and night seems a bit much. 16 years? The maximum sentence for manslaughter is only 11 years.

    Some of the older articles did mention he had been living in his car, at least for a time. I’m wondering what the reaction would have been had this psycho instead been a homeless person who was killing and eating cats to supplement his diet after the public feedings in St. James Park were stopped.

    In case anyone is wondering, cats don’t taste like chicken; more like rabbit; at least the ones in Viet Nam did but then anything still tasted better than a ham and lima bean c-ration, even if you’re starving.

  7. SJ KULAK,
    Nice “stretch” of taking my words and formulating what you think my opinion was. Where did I ever say anything about how “America worked” or how someone should get a stiffer sentence or should get a “rediculous(sic) amount of time” because they “act a certain way”? Let me clarify for you. I said the sentence was “PROBABLY influenced by cat owners” but that “serial killers OFTEN kill animals first”. Maybe you missed the word “MIGHT”, when I said, “MIGHT be the best thing for the public”. I never said anything was a “given”. Maybe you should keep your opinions to the story rather than making them up about what others say.

  8. This guy is a sick F! I say 20 years and when he gets out-straight to a mental hospital where he can be drugged. I’m tired of this “justice” system. Let’s call it what it really is: a county full of attorneys robbing people blind so that former attorneys can interpret the law according to how good of friends they are with the attorney. I’m over it. I’ll say no more because I’m sure I’ve pissed off enough people

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