RIVER RIDGE, LA (WVUE) - The attorney for a veterinarian accused of shooting her neighbor's dog in River Ridge last week argues his client is innocent and the interim sheriff's investigation is politically motivated.
"If you're going to bring this to a jury, you've got to have more than a Facebook post. That's, by the way, three or four-months-old," attorney Robert Garrity said. "In my opinion, you've got to have something that ties her to the shooting, other than she was mad because the dog barked."
The negative backlash against Garrity's client, veterinarian Kelly Folse, comes after investigators accused her of killing her neighbor's 15-month-old American bulldog.
"From our investigation, [the dog] did not appear to be hostile or aggressive to any other neighbors that were in the area at the time," Lopinto said at a news conference Tuesday.
Lopinto said Folse shot the dog because the dog barked too much.
Garrity contends Lopinto does not have the evidence to prove that.
"What kind of world are we living in when a sheriff comes out and says we've made an arrest and she did it? Period," Garrity asked. "I don't have a gun. I don't have a bullet. I don't have a caliber of a bullet. I don't have an eyewitness. I have a time period that spans about seven or eight hours. I don't have a single person who heard or saw anything. But yet you've gutted this girl and ruined her life."
Lopinto is currently campaigning for the sheriff's election next year. Ironically, a political sign for Lopinto is outside of Garrity's Harahan office.
Friday, Lopinto told FOX 8 that Garrity is attempting to have investigators reveal the evidence against Folse so Garrity can develop a defense. Lopinto stands behind his accusations against the vet who has been fired from her job.
Lopinto said with the bullet fragments found on the scene and messages sent to the dog's family from Folse, his investigators established enough probable cause to get a judge to sign an arrest warrant.
"I'm not going to release exactly what she said because that's part of the investigation that has to be turned in to the district attorney's office, but they were obviously hostile in nature. Let's put it that way," Lopinto said.
Garrity said Folse does not know who shot the dog, and he said other neighbors of Folse's have called his office about the dog's past behavior.
"According to the source that called me today, and I promised I would not give his name on TV today - I am giving his name to the sheriff's office - he said the dog's been a nuisance for a year," Garrity said. "The sheriff says she's the only one that's had a problem with that dog. Well, that's simply not true."
Neighbors who spoke with FOX 8 said the dog never threatened them at any time.
Folse is also charged with illegal drug possession for pills and drugs found in her home without a prescription, according to investigators.
Garrity said Folse had a prescription on her countertop for the Adderall found in her home. He also said Folse had diazepam in her home to aid dogs with seizures because she is a DEA-licensed veterinarian.
Folse owns a .40 caliber gun, according to Garrity. He argues someone would have heard the shot with type of gun because the home is adjacent to a school that was in session during the shooting.
Lopinto said Folse has not cooperated with detectives.
Folse has a preliminary hearing in February, according to Garrity.