Former Bollinger County deputy seeks change of venue on animal abuse charge

Friday, April 20, 2012

Southeast Missourian

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- The attorney for a former Bollinger County sheriff's deputy accused of animal abuse is seeking a change of venue.

Kelley Barks, 36, of Marble Hill entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in March.

Barks shot a small dog during a domestic dispute call in February 2011 and left the sheriff's department soon after. She maintains she put the dog down after it attacked her only because she was instructed to do so by the Bollinger County veterinarian.

"We fully intend to have a jury determine her guilt or innocence, and due to her now pending civil case as a plaintiff against numerous elected officials in Bollinger County for employment discrimination and other civil allegations, we feel that in an effort to ensure a fair trial in this charge, this matter should be transferred to a different county," said Barks' attorney in the criminal case, Bryan Greaser of Cape Girardeau.

Barks is due back in court May 2.

In a separate lawsuit, Barks alleges the animal abuse charges, filed almost a year after the incident, were in retaliation for her being awarded the right to sue the sheriff's department for employment discrimination following an investigation by the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. A case review is scheduled in July.

Pertinent address:

204 High St., Marble Hill, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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