Criminal Justice

Lawyer questions outrage about cooked-cat allegations against her client

A Minnesota lawyer doesn’t understand all the outrage over allegations that her client killed and baked his pet cat.

Cody Mann, 28, of Monticello, was charged with animal cruelty and torture Wednesday, two days after police were called to Mann’s apartment to investigate a burning smell, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Mann’s father had also contacted police to report strange comments by his son, who he said had a history of drug abuse and mental illness.

Police say Mann told them he killed the animal, skinned it and baked it because he planned to make the cat into a meal eaten with onions.

Mann’s lawyer, Jenny Chaplinski, told the Star Tribune that her client “is just being crucified” in online comments, and “I’ve represented people doing more horrible things to other people.” She even got a call from CNN to appear on Nancy Grace, but she declined, she said.

“At the end of the day, it’s meat,” Chaplinski said. “I don’t know why there’s the outrage about cooking a cat. … Why are we not talking about the mental health system?”

For nearly a year, Mann has been under court-supervised civil commitment for mental illness and chemical dependency, the story says. He was living on his own under a provisional discharge from commitment. After his arrest, Mann was taken for a mental evaluation and then booked into jail.

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