Alleged animal abuser a dedicated mother of 4, friend says

Lynn Geter, 38, remains in the Meriwether County jail more than a week following her arrest on child and animal cruelty charges. The mother of four was arrested after her 12-year-old son told his teacher his mother forced him to kill his pet with a hammer, Sheriff Steve Whitlock said.

The pet was allegedly killed because of a bad grade, Whitlock told the AJC.

Saturday evening, Whitlock said Geter will likely remain in jail until a court date is set, due to a probation violation from a previous incident. He did not know the details of Geter's previous arrest.

Carol Tilmann, who has been friends with Geter for about 12 years, said the child is very troubled, struggles in school and has behavior issues. She said Geter would never force one of her children to do something so cruel, and feels Geter was likely attempting to take the pet away as punishment for repeated misbehavior.

"He has a long history of struggling in school, and it's not just bad grades," Tilmann said.

Tilman and her husband, a dentist in Warm Springs, run a small practice, and Geter works there three days a week as a dental assistant. In addition, Geter handles the cleaning duties at the family's church, located just down the road from their home.

"That church depends on her so much," Tilmann said.

Geter's oldest daughter is a high school senior, and she her husband Brad also have children aged 6 and 7, Tilmann said. But it's her son that Geter worries about the most, Tilmann said.

"She cries about him," Tilmann said. "One of her biggest concerns is that he be successful in school."

The day the pet, which Tilmann says was a gerbil, allegedly died, Geter received two phone calls from her son's teachers.

When reached by telephone Friday evening, Brad Geter declined to comment on the incident. The family has apparently hired an attorney.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.