Man Convicted for Cat Torture, Property Damage After 'Psychotic Break'

Scott Allen Eberspacher, 34, was convicted on animal torture and first degree property damage charges.

A Cottage Grove man was convicted for killing an Oakdale woman's Persian cat and causing felony-level damage to her home. 

Scott Allen Eberspacher, 34, was convicted of the two charges in Washington County District Court last week.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Oct. 11, 2011 the Oakdale Police Department received a report from an Oakdale woman living on the 1400 block of Goodwin Avenue who said several items were broken in her home and there were blood stains throughout the residence. 

The woman had returned home that evening to find a broken glass coffee table, broken dishes, candles, a pottery bowl, a sign, window blinds and a damaged bedspread. The woman also reported that someone had punched a hole through one of her walls and several other walls were dented. The woman also told officers that her Persian cat was missing.

The woman said that Eberspacher had been staying temporarily at her residence because he did not have a place to live. When she came home that evening she saw Eberspacher had a laceration on his right hand and he seemed to be passed out and intoxicated on her couch. The woman told police that Eberspacher initially denied causing the damage and left the residence.

Later that evening, Eberspacher texted the woman apologizing for the damage at her home. Eberspacher also said that the Persian cat had "ran away."

On Oct. 13, the woman spoke with Eberspacher on the phone and he said that he had a "psychotic break" and admitted to damaging the woman's property. He also said he did not know where the cat was. 

On Oct. 18, the family found the Persian cat dead inside of their garage. The family took the cat to a veterinary hospital where veterinarians conducted an autopsy. 

The autopsy report showed trauma to the thorax and abdomen and bruising to all four legs, the thorax and the cat's skull. The report also showed acute hemorrahages of the brain and lungs. 

Officers interviewed Eberspacher on Nov. 11, 2011. Eberspacher told officers that had a "mental breakdown" after receiving news that a family member was dying. Eberspacher admitted to causing the damage throughout the woman's house and for punching a hole in the bathroom wall. 

When officers showed Eberspacher a photograph of the dead cat in the garage, Eberspacher said he did not mean to hurt the cat. Eberspacher claimed that the cat got injured after he fell through the coffee table on to the cat.

Officers spoke with the veterinary hospital staff who said Eberspacher's story was not consistent with the severity of the cat's injuries. 

Eberspacher was sentenced for gross midemeanor damage to property and felony animal torture. Eberspacher must spend 365 days in jail with 305 days credited and the court stayed his sentence for two years on certain conditions, including completing mental health programing and men's domesitc abuse therapy and abstaining from alcohol. For the animal torture charge, the court stayed Eberspacher's sentence for 15 months and he has been placed on probation for two years. 

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