Wicker Park man turns himself in for killing and torturing cats in his apartment

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- WARNING: The details in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some.

A Wicker Park man turned himself in to police Monday for killing and torturing cats in his apartment.

Thomas William Martel was charged with two felony counts of animal torture and four felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, according to the Chicago Police Department.

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Police said Martel allegedly killed four tabby cats, all named Shelly or Shelby, intentionally.

The suspect walked into the 14th District Police station with his lawyer Monday morning to turn himself in relating to the charged offenses.

According to police reports, the 22 year old killed the four cats across a period of nearly three weeks, from June 4 to June 23.

Police said Martel allegedly tortured and killed two cats by drowning and squeezing them. He killed a third cat by mutilation. Officers found another dead cat inside the suspect's apartment inside a plastic bag.

A witness said the cat in the bag was microwaved.

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According to police documents, Martel checked "yes" for serious mental health problems in his arrestee questionnaire.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County set special conditions for Martel's bail, including being placed on an electronic monitoring device monitored by the Cook County sheriff and having "no contact with any animal under any condition."

Martel has no prior convictions.