Kingman jury immune to snatched cat fever, acquits woman
Panel says Freiert not guilty in trial over 'stolen' kitty
A jury took less than a half hour to acquit a local animal rescuer of stealing a cat.
The six-person jury deliberated for 26 minutes before finding Kristin Freiert not guilty of misdemeanor theft for failing to return a cat to a woman in Golden Valley. The woman sought help from Freiert to reduce the number of cats in her home through adoption or spaying and neutering.
Freiert contended that she had tried to return the cat after it had been spayed in May 2011 but that the owner rejected it, saying that it wasn't the same cat.
The case went to trial in October but Judge John Taylor declared a mistrial following allegations of juror tampering after a juror was seen talking to two of Freiert's witnesses. More than 50 potential jurors were called to Kingman Justice Court Wednesday morning for the second trial. The verdict came in shortly after closing arguments Thursday afternoon.
Freiert was a mix of emotions after the verdict was read.
"I am so frustrated, but I feel so blessed," she said. "This has been a year and a half of nonsense, but it taught me a lot of lessons, some that I never expected. I learned I have a lot of friends out there."
The cat at the center of the case, Denny, remains in Freiert's care for the time being. She already has several cats of her own and said she would like to find Denny her own family who will spoil her and make her the center of attention.
Mohave County Animal Control said the woman in Golden Valley was not cited for having too many cats because she came forward to ask for help and was actively working to reduce the number of felines. The woman started with four cats, but the population exploded because the animals were not fixed and they began to mate with each other.