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Trial scheduled for Two Harbors man accused of cat cruelty

A jury trial was scheduled Monday for a Two Harbors, Minn., man accused of cruelty to cats. A neatly dressed Edward Todd Stoehr, 68, of 1848 Korkki Road, appeared in St. Louis County District Court on two counts of felony cruelty to animals, one ...

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The animal recovery team then went to Stoehr's residence and removed 34 live cats. (Photo courtesy of Duluth Township Police)

A jury trial was scheduled Monday for a Two Harbors, Minn., man accused of cruelty to cats.

A neatly dressed Edward Todd Stoehr, 68, of 1848 Korkki Road, appeared in St. Louis County District Court on two counts of felony cruelty to animals, one count of misdemeanor maltreatment of animals and three counts of misdemeanor failure to adequately care for animals.

Defense attorney Mikkel Long suggested he and his client might be close to working out a plea agreement with St. Louis County prosecutor Heather Korpela. Korpela told Judge John DeSanto that her office's plea-bargain offer will remain open only until Nov. 22.

If an agreement is not reached by then, a trial has been scheduled for Jan. 11.

Outside the courtroom after the hearing, Stoehr said he hasn't been treated fairly, but declined to elaborate. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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The criminal complaint alleges that Duluth Township police executing a search warrant on Stoehr's property March 15 found 20 cats in a pole building with no lights on and no windows, ventilation or fresh food or water. Portable kennels were in poor condition and litter boxes were overflowing. A veterinarian determined that the cats' basic needs were not being met and could have caused premature death.

Two of the cats had to be euthanized.

Officers also found 39 dead cats in bags and containers outside the pole building. The animal recovery team then went to Stoehr's residence and removed 34 live cats. A veterinarian conducted necropsies on three cats and found that two of them died from emaciation from not eating for an extended period of time. Other live cats were found that suffered from various diseases allegedly due to improper treatment by Stoehr.

Three more sick cats were taken from Stoehr's property on Oct. 7.

The Duluth News Tribune and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

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