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Charges: Woman's pet cat dies in St. Cloud neighbor's kill trap

The man admitted to setting cat food near the trap.

A St. Cloud man has been charged for the killing of his neighbor's cat, according to a criminal complaint filed in Benton County.

Timothy Lee Diederichs, 52, was charged this week with felony animal mistreatment and two misdemeanors, including fourth-degree criminal damage to property and trapping small game without a license. 

The alleged crime was committed Sept. 9, 2018, when a St. Cloud police officer was sent to 526 2nd Street Southeast on a report a resident had trapped a neighbor's cat, leading to the pet's death. 

The pet owner told police that her cat, Larry, wandered into Diederichs' yard and was killed by the trap, identified as a Bridger Body Gripper trap, which is specifically designed to provide "quick dispatch of captured animal," the complaint says. 

Diederichs told police that he previously warned the woman to keep her cats out of his yard, saying he was upset with the poop the cats left in his garden, also accusing them of damaging his garden plants. 

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He then admitted that he set the body gripper trap and left cat food near it, although he said he was aiming to trap squirrels and rabbits. Diederichs did not have a license for trapping small game in Minnesota. 

If convicted of the animal mistreatment charge, Diederichs could face up to two years and/or a $5,000 fine. 

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