Edmund Cunningham, accused of killing cats and storing their bodies in a freezer of his Middletown apartment, appeared in Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom in Butler County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, Oct. 16 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Bond continued for man charged after dead cats found in freezer

Edmund Cunningham, 24, of Roosevelt Boulevard, was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty in August when Middletown police found multiple dead cats in his home’s freezer, according to Middletown Police Maj. Scott Reeve. The charges are fifth-degree felonies.

Earlier this month, a Butler County grand jury indicted Cunningham on 14 counts of felony cruelty to companion animals, all felonies. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser told this news organization that additional cats were found during the investigation.

Cunningham was arraigned Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court where Judge Charles Pater continued the bond set in municipal court judge.

During the short hearing, Cunningham said “most likely” someone from his church in Forest Park would take him in if he is released on bond. He is scheduled to be back in court next week for a pre-trial hearing.

A Middletown humane officer visited Cunningham’s home Aug. 30 for a complaint that he had been harming cats and kittens. During a conversation with the officer, Cunningham gave consent to search his residence, and police found cats in a freezer in the home.

Cunningham admitted he killed eight of the cats and was arrested and booked into the Middletown City Jail, according to police.

“He killed them in different ways,” Reeve previously told this news organization. “He took in a stray. He was cleaning it up and it attacked him, so he said he punched and stabbed it in self defense.”

Another cat did not wake Cunningham up “gently” so he threw it against the wall, Reeve said.