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Man accused of torturing, killing cats in Jefferson, Adams Counties sentenced

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Posted at 12:03 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 14:15:19-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The man accused of torturing and killing cats in Jefferson County was sentenced to eight consecutive years in prison from three felony cases.

Evan Bretches, 39, faces eight years for one felony case in Jefferson County and two in Adams County related to aggravated animal cruelty.

According to court documents, Bretches committed the crimes in Jefferson County while on probation in Adams County.

During the mid-morning of Jan. 15, 2017, the Arvada Police Department responded to a call of animal cruelty at a local PetSmart. When officers arrived, a store manager showed them two dead cats they had found in a nearby dumpster, according to an affidavit. Other cats and kittens were found nearby. Some of the felines had duct tape around their legs and heads.

Authorities asked for surveillance footage and noted that on Jan. 14, 2017, the day before they were called to the scene, the video showed a black four-door sedan pulling up to the dumpsters. A white man got out of the car, walked around to the trunk of the car, put several items into the dumpster, and briefly got into the dumpster before climbing back out and speeding away in the car, according to the affidavit.

This case remained open and inactive from February 2017 to September 2017.

On Sept. 12, 2017, authorities learned of a match between the partial DNA profiles obtained from the dumpster and a 39-year-old man named Evans Bretches, according to the affidavit. 

Bretches has an extensive criminal history in Colorado and Alabama, including traffic offenses, domestic violence and two prior arrests for aggravated cruelty to animals. Both of the latter arrests were from Thornton in Adams County.

When investigators talked with him before his first Thornton arrest, which occurred in February 2016, he admitted to hitting a cat with a hammer and that he should “get some anger management help,” according to the affidavit.

Authorities believed he was addicted to heroin at this time.

A search warrant led to texts and videos. One showed him cursing at a cat in a crate, and kicking the crate. In another video, he’s talking to a cat that appeared scared and shaking, saying, “Kitty, kitty say cheese. Smile and say dead.”

In the second Thornton arrest in March 2017, Bretches had bought a cat from a woman through Craigslist and promised that he’d send photos and video of the cat. When he didn’t, the woman grew worried and Googled his name. She found that he had been arrested in Westminster two days after he bought the cat from her. He had been charged with violating his probation on the 2016 animal cruelty charge.

A few days after Denver7 published this March 2017 incident, another woman reached out with a similar story of how her ex-boyfriend had sold their cat to Bretches and feared it had been killed too.