FOLEY -- A Benton County jury has found a St. Cloud man not guilty of purposely trying to trap and kill his neighbor's cat.

Fifty-three-year-old Tim Diederichs was charged with felony mistreatment of an animal and misdemeanor criminal damage to property.  He was acquitted on both charges.  A misdemeanor charge for not having a trapping license was dismissed prior to trial.

St. Cloud Police were called to the 500 block of 2nd Street Southeast in September 2018. The caller said her neighbor had set a body trap in his yard and killed her pet cat.

The owner said her cat had been out and wandered into Diederichs' yard where it was caught in the trap and killed.

Records show Diederichs told officers that his neighbor's cats were routinely let out of the house to wander the neighborhood and he previously told the neighbor he did not want her cats on his property. Diederichs had used live traps before to catch the cats and return them to the neighbor.

According to the criminal complaint, Diederichs said he was trying to catch squirrels and rabbits which are small game, but admitted to putting cat food by the trap.

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