NEW YORK — A self-employed graphic designer methodically killed at least four of his girlfriend's cats and tortured two others while the unsuspecting woman continued to adopt new ones over a four-month period, authorities said Friday.
Sean Lynde was arrested Friday on charges including six counts of felony animal cruelty. He pleaded not guilty at state Supreme Court in Manhattan and was freed on $5,000 bond.
His lawyer, Elliot Kay, said Lynde is looking forward to a trial, not a plea deal.
"He's not going to admit to killing any cats," Kay said.
The 36-year-old Lynde returned an e-mail from The Associated Press on Friday in response for a request for comment. "Thank you for the offer, but I have nothing to say. I do, however, invite you to join us on the day my ex-girlfriend gets cross-examined," he wrote.
The woman's name was not released.
Lynde moved into his girlfriend's Upper West Side apartment on Oct. 1, authorities said. Three days later, her 15-year-old cat, Cleo, was found dead behind a dryer with her mouth full of laundry detergent and a broken jaw. A necropsy revealed the cat had head trauma from being beaten, said Joseph Pentangelo, assistant director of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
A second cat, 12-year-old Zoe, suffered extensive head trauma and had to be euthanized by the end of the same month, Pentangelo said.
In November, the woman adopted two kittens, Willie and Betty. Willie became unresponsive after his first night in the couple's home and had trouble walking because his legs had stiffened from trauma, Pentangelo said. He was returned to his adopter.
The second kitten, Betty, died Nov. 24. Lynde told the veterinarian the kitten had suffered head damage and stopped breathing after falling off a table, Pentangelo said.
The woman adopted two more kittens, Emo and Bonafide, on Dec. 18. Later that day, Emo was treated for a broken paw. He was reported missing Jan. 22.
Shortly before Christmas, Bonafide suffered trauma resulting in blindness and brain damage, Pentangelo said. The kitten's body was found Jan. 23 with its neck broken.
A tipster called animal welfare after the fourth cat's death.
Lynde will return to court at the end of September, his lawyer said.