Middletown man with dead cats in freezer enters insanity plea

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
A Middletown man accused of killing cats and storing their bodies in a freezer is facing additional felony charges after more feline bodies were found.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Middletown man accused of killing cats and then putting their bodies in a freezer has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Edmund Cunningham, 24, 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.

MORE: Local man accused of killing cats, putting them in freezer

Earlier this month, a Butler County grand jury indicted Cunningham on 14 counts of felony cruelty to companion animals after an investigation turned up more feline bodies.

Cunningham was arraigned last week by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater, who continued the $35,000 bond set in municipal court.

Defense attorney Charles Conliff filed a not guilty of insanity plea on Cunningham’s behalf on Monday and also a motion that he is incompetent to stand trial.

MORE: 6 more cats found in Middletown man’s freezer 

“As ground, the defendant reportedly has a history of mental illness,” Conliff said in written motions.

A forensic psychological evaluation has been ordered and a competency hearing was scheduled by the judge for Dec. 4.

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.

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