LEWISTON — A Greene man accused of using his martial arts skills to subdue and strangle a pair of cats appeared in court Wednesday.

Michael Herrmann, 47, has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The charge stems from a March 23 incident in which an animal control officer investigated the case after he was told the cats had been disposed of in a manner legally considered cruel.

Herrmann remained free on $100 cash bail. He was ordered not to possess any animals. He could be searched if suspected of having violated that condition.

Because the charge is a felony, Herrmann didn’t enter a plea in 8th District Court as he conferred with his attorney, Logan Perkins. An Androscoggin County grand jury is expected to be presented with the case to determine whether to hand up an indictment on the felony charge. If it were to indict Herrmann on that or any other felony charge, he would enter a plea at a hearing afterward.

Police said that after a neighbor had dropped the cats off at his house, Herrmann took the animals to a nearby snowmobile trail to euthanize them. Police retrieved the remains of the two cats and delivered them to a veterinarian.

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Michael Herrmann consults with his lawyer in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Wednesday morning during his arraignment. Herrmann is charged with strangling two cats.

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