A 24-year-old transient accused of torturing and killing cats will be tried on four felony counts - three related to animal abuse and one related to starting a fire, a Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday. He was convicted of animal cruelty, in a different case, in April of 2008. Click here for information on that case.
The judge's decision came after several police officials testified against Timothy Kooyman, revealing often gruesome details about his alleged animal abuse.
He killed one of the cats by dousing it with gasoline and using a lighter to set it on fire while it was still alive, one investigator said.
The burning cat then ran through dry brush in a vacant lot in north Rancho Cucamonga, causing a small brush fire.
He had pleaded not guilty June 6 in preliminary proceedings.
On May 14, the morning after he was arrested by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, Kooyman confessed the details of his cat abuse to Detective Alonzo Daniel, the detective testified Tuesday.
Daniel said Kooyman told him that he picked up a cat May 13 and drove to the vacant lot, where he broke one of the cat's legs.
Kooyman told the detective that he wrapped a cord from a cell-phone charger around the cat's neck to hold the animal in place, then doused the cat in gasoline before setting it on fire, Daniel said.
About 10 p.m. that day - six hours after the brush fire - sheriff's Deputy Wendy Saucedo arrested Kooyman after a routine vehicle check.
She testified Tuesday that she saw blood on Kooyman's shirt, and found a plastic storage bin inside the car that had two living mutilated cats inside. Their tails had been cut off, and all of their legs were broken.
The box was filled with bloody towels, and Saucedo said she found a pair of scissors covered in cat hair inside Kooyman's vehicle.
Both of the cats were later euthanized because of the severity of their injuries, said Jesse Kreider, a Rancho Cucamonga animal control officer.
Daniel said Kooyman told him that after he lit the cat on fire, he parked his car in a nearby neighborhood and took a nap.
After he woke up, Kooyman said he lured and mutilated the two cats found in the bin, Daniel said.
Two members of a Walnut Creek-based group that seeks stiff sentences for animal abusers attended the hearing.
"He's not crazy. He's simply sadistic," said Leroy Moyer, director of Voices for Pets. "He enjoys inflicting suffering on defenseless victims."
The judge declined to proceed with three additional felony charges of animal abuse against Kooyman because the incidents at Kooyman's Corona motel room took place in Riverside County.
Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus said she or detectives in the case will contact Riverside County officials to notify them of the incidents.
His court date is Friday, Dec. 12 at 8:30 am at