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Late evidence delays trial over killing of cats

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE - A trial involving a man who allegedly tortured and killed several cats in Bullitt County has been delayed.

Alex Phelps is facing five counts of torturing cats in late 2010. Each felony is punishable by 1-5 years in prison.

His trial was slated to begin recently; however, late evidence from the Kentucky State Police lab has led to a continuance.

Defense attorney Thomas Clay objected to prior continuances in the case and said his client is suffering from the delays. He said this was the third time the case had been scheduled for trial.

However, prosecutor Mike Ferguson said the DNA testing just arrived and the information was sent to Clay.

No new trial date has been set.

Phelps is facing charges in both Bullitt and Jefferson counties for killing cats.

A hearing was held recently to determine whether the Jefferson County cases could be mentioned to the Bullitt County jury.

Dr. Rachel Brown testified that the lacerations from the cats found in both counties were similar. The legs had also been restrained in a similar manner.

In the preliminary autopsy report, Brown told Clay that the cause of death on several of the cats was listed as ‘unknown” but that all had been cut in the same way and all were tied up.

Clay objected to Brown testifying, as she was not on the list of witnesses provided by the commonwealth.

But Ferguson said Phelps gave a confession on killing the cats. The admission was for killing two cats in Jefferson and two in Bullitt.

Due to the new information, Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress agreed to the continuance.