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Judge: Cat killer violated his parole

February 09, 2007

HAGERSTOWN - A man who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the burning deaths of four kittens on July 2, 2006, was in jail Thursday after Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell found him in violation of parole.

Robert Lynn Tomlin moved in with Kelli Ann Green, owner of the dead kittens, which was a violation of his parole, McDowell said.

Tomlin, formerly of Smithsburg, was ordered to serve 18 months in prison at his sentencing in November. At that time, McDowell suspended that sentence except for the 134 days Tomlin had served since his arrest.

On Thursday, McDowell terminated Tomlin's probation and ordered him to serve the original sentence. He must now serve 406 days and was given credit for 65 days because he has been in jail since his Dec. 5, 2006, arrest for violating parole.

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As conditions of his parole, Tomlin was ordered to have "no contact with animals or pets" and no contact with Green.

Police arrested Tomlin, 22, in December 2006 after the Humane Society of Washington County reported to a parole officer that Tomlin was living with Green and several animals at her home, Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell said in court Thursday.

Tomlin told his parole officer that he was living with his grandmother on Winter Street, Kessell said. Tomlin's grandmother told the parole officer that he was not living with her, and she did not know where he was living, Kessell said.

At his parole violation hearing Thursday morning, Tomlin told the judge that his grandmother would not let him live with her. He had been staying at a cold weather shelter when Green invited him to live with her, Tomlin told McDowell.

"I was following my heart," Tomlin said.

"Mr. Tomlin was called by the victim in this case," Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa said. "As far as he knows, he was reconciled with Ms. Green," she said.

Green said in court Thursday that she could "barely remember" the events of July 2 that led to Tomlin's arrest and blamed alcohol for "everything that happened."

Court documents show that Green left a voice-mail message with the parole officer, indicating that "she has reconsidered and would like contact" with Tomlin.

Tomlin allegedly knocked down Green and kicked her in the head on the same night the week-old kittens were killed, the Sheriff's Department said in July.

When Green ran next door, she saw Tomlin standing over a fire pit and she knew that her four 1-week-old kittens had been killed, the prosecution said when Tomlin was sentenced in November.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil dropped second-degree assault and other charges in exchange for Tomlin's guilty plea to aggravated animal cruelty Nov. 13.

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