MIAMI — Prosecutors have dropped their case against accused serial cat killer Tyler Weinman after two scientific experts determined that an animal, not the teen, was to blame for a string of grisly feline mutilations in South Miami-Dade last year.
That means Tyler Weinman, 19, is now a free man.
"Our job is to seek the truth and the truth is that this was done by an animal predator, not by a human being,'' Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said.
Police and prosecutors -- who initially relied on the opinions of Miami-Dade's Animal Services department -- built a circumstantial and highly publicized case in the mutilations that terrorized pet owners across the upscale cities of Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay.
Weinman was initially accused of slaying 19 cats in South Miami-Dade, also faced a slew of burglary and cruelty to animal felonies.
"I'm so happy right now,'' said defense attorney David Macey. "Vindication. I'm thrilled. And Tyler is elated that justice has prevailed.''
No DNA linked Weinman to eight preserved animal carcasses and finally, a defense forensic veterinarian concluded that an animal was to blame for the killings. Two state experts agreed.
"They peeled back underneath the skin and found puncture wounds and that was the end of the case,'' Fernández Rundle said. "This is a classic case of scientific evidence trumping a circumstantial case.''