Maricopa County prosecutors have returned to police for further review a case involving a man connected to the disappearance and possible mutilation of dozens of cats from a Mesa neighborhood.
Mesa police recommended on Sept. 5 that Scott Andrew Graham, 39, be charged with three counts of animal cruelty and killing an animal without the owner's permission, as well as theft. However, county prosecutors returned the case the next day, requesting more information and investigation before further reviewing the case for those charges.
The charge of theft also was referred back to Mesa Municipal Court as it did not rise to the level of a felony, according to Jerry Cobb, spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
Graham, who had no prior arrest record, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of animal cruelty-related charges after reviewing video surveillance in the neighborhood surrounding the 900 block of West Natal where cats were disappearing, showed Graham tossing a cat out of his car window, according to police.
Once police tracked down Graham, they discovered cat hair and the smell of what was believed to be dead animal carcasses in his car. Graham also admitted to police that he had taken 40 cats from the area. He told police that he played with the cats, but did not harm them.
Mesa police could not be reached for comment as to when the case could be re-submitted for review.