Animal abuse case against former Bollinger County deputy moved to Cape County

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- The misdemeanor animal abuse case for Kelley Barks, 36, of Marble Hill was moved to Cape Girardeau County on Wednesday on a motion for a change of venue, Barks' attorney said.

Barks, formerly a deputy with the Bollinger County Sheriff's Department, 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.

Barks entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in March.

"Bollinger County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Gray and I ... agreed that the case would be sent to Cape Girardeau County, and Judge Scott Thomsen will remain on the case since the case stayed in the same judicial circuit," said Barks' attorney Bryan Greaser in a statement Wednesday.

Gray said it is not unusual for high-profile cases to be moved to other venues. He also said it was unclear whether the case would be heard as a jury or bench trial.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 22.

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 review for this case is scheduled for July.

jgamm@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

100 Court Street, Jackson, MO

Marble Hill, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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