Former Bollinger County deputy acquitted in dog shooting - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former Bollinger County deputy acquitted in dog shooting

BOLLINGER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

A former Bollinger County sheriff's deputy accused of shooting and killing a dog has been acquitted, according to the defense attorney in the case Bryan Greaser.

Kelly Barks resigned earlier this year, after reportedly shooting an 8-pound Chihuahua while on a domestic violence call.

The sheriff says Barks thought the dog was becoming too aggressive and bit her.

The case was transferred to Cape Girardeau County on a Motion for Change of Venue by defense attorney Bryan Greaser.

According to Attorney Bryan Greaser, after hearing all of the evidence and testimony in the case, the jury, made up of six women and six men, needed only 15 minutes to reach their verdict of not guilty.

"The killing of this dog was an extremely unfortunate occurrence, not a single person would deny that, but Barks committed no crime in protecting herself from this animal," said Greaser. "There was simply no criminal intent.  No matter the size of the dog, dogs have teeth, and all dogs, no matter the size or breed, can carry rabies, and Barks had a legitimate fear that her health and well being was in jeopardy, and the jury found that this was a lawful killing."

"I was certainly concerned that the small size of this dog would weigh on the jurors'  minds as they analyzed Barks' actions that night, but the twelve jurors heard and saw more testimony than what has been made available to the public," Greaser added. "Once again, this is why we have jury trials, and this is why it is so important for people to not make up their minds until they have heard all of the evidence in a court of law."

Sheriff Leo McElrath said in April that the department was using this incident as a learning experience and reviewing protocol.

He said at the time, that, he was going to host a training course to reiterate with his officers what to do in this type of situation.

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