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Judge rules accused Elgin cat hoarder is fit for trial

William C. Tinkler / phofrom Elgpolice.

William C. Tinkler / photo from Elgin police.

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Updated: March 23, 2013 6:31AM

ELGIN — William Tinkler, the cat lover arrested for having a van full of rotting animal carcasses and at least four live cats in a reportedly unkempt Elgin home, has been ruled fit to stand trial.

Sixteenth Circuit Court Judge Kathryn Karayannis issued the ruling Thursday in Elgin Branch Court, based on a report about Tinkler’s mental and physical condition presented by the Kane County Diagnostic Center.

Karayannis scheduled another hearing in the case for 1 p.m. April 11.

Tinkler’s attorney, Michael Reidy, said the diagnostic study concluded that Tinkler is able to understand the charges against him and, except for what Reidy called “some issues of concern,” that he will be able to help his attorney defend against those charges.

Tinkler, 60, is an unemployed Vietnam veteran whom Reidy has argued may be suffering from post-traumatic stress. He also is barely able to walk or stand, because of hip or knee problems.

Police raided Tinkler’s Victorian home in the 200 block of Villa Street last Sept. 26 after a city crew that had been sent to mow excessive grass there noticed a foul odor coming from a van in its driveway. Inside the van, police say, they then found about 43 dead animals — about 27 cats plus various birds, opossums and squirrels.

City inspectors said the house, which held four live cats, was strewn with garbage and animal waste. Neighbors said Tinkler had fed and played with numerous feral and stray cats inside and outside his home.

He has been charged with violating the Dead Animals Disposal Act plus four counts each of cruelty to animals and failure to carry out an animal owners’ duties, all misdemeanors punishable by fines or less than a year in jail.

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