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Article updated: 2/21/2013 6:11 PM

Judge: Elgin animal hoarding suspect fit for trial

William C. Tinkler

William C. Tinkler

 
Elgin police said more than 40 dead cats and other animals were found Sept. 26, 2012 in a van on Villa Street in Elgin.

Elgin police said more than 40 dead cats and other animals were found Sept. 26, 2012 in a van on Villa Street in Elgin.

 

BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer

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A judge ruled Thursday an Elgin man is fit to stand trial on misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and neglect after more than 40 dead cats and other animal carcasses were found in a van at his rented home last fall.

Kane County Judge Kathryn Karayannis agreed with an evaluation by the Kane County Diagnostic Center that William C. Tinkler, 60, was fit to stand trial on charges that could land him in jail for up to a year.

In order to be declared unfit to stand trial, a defendant must not understand the natures of the court proceedings or be unable to assist in a defense.

Defense attorney Michael Reidy said Tinkler may suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder and/or Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from his military service during the Vietnam War.

"There were some issues regarding his ability to assist in his defense," Reidy said. "Mr. Tinkler is a very intelligent man, but he has some issues."

Reidy said that if the matter heads to trial, the court could allow Reidy extra time to explain what is happening in the courtroom.

The evaluation of Tinkler, like all other evaluations from the diagnostic center, are confidential and sealed in the court file. Authorities found 43 dead animal carcasses in a van in the 200 block of Villa Street in late September 2012 after a city contractor saw dead animals in a van. Neighbors also had complained about a foul smell.

According to court documents, the carcasses included 27 cats and also included a muskrat, baby opossum and possibly a baby ferret.

Tinkler also missed a court appearance in October to contest a move by prosecutors to have him forfeit four living cats that were removed from the home.

Tinkler is free on bond and next due in Elgin Branch Court April 11.

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