Man accused of beating puppy to death enters not guilty plea. Defense to subpoena housemates
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A Naples man accused of beating his puppy to death has two court hearings scheduled in early December after pleading not guilty.
Detectives with the Animal Cruelty Investigations Alliance of the Collier County Sheriff's Office arrested Robert "Bobby" William Garon, 23, on August 11 and charged him with killing his 5-month-old puppy in late July.
Robert Garon is accused of beating his puppy Buzz Lightyear to death.
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He was found liable on August 12 and formally pleaded not guilty on November 14, records show.
Through their attorney Donald Day of the Naples-based law firm Donald D. Day, the family Monday subpoenaed Legacy Apartments at the 7500 block of Campania Way in Naples, court filings show.
They are demanding copies of records of the apartment where Robert Garon lived and maintenance records as of July 29, including the names and addresses of those who worked on the property that day.
Day said the reason for the subpoena was because authorities refused to track her down and question her.
Robert Garon has two status hearings on December 5 and 8 - the first is a request to allow travel and contact with the family pet, followed by a request to subpoena the requested records.
In contrast, Day said the state has filed a request for Garon's veterinary records, but they are not yet in the final hearing, which he believes should be done soon.
Almost a month after Garon's arrest, his family maintained his innocence.
"It was a parent's worst nightmare," Suzanne Garon, Garon's mother, told the Daily News. "It was horrific for our whole family. We have all received numerous threats of violence and torture.”
Suzanne Garon said the family reported these threats to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.
Michelle Batten, spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff's Office, confirmed that they are investigating a threat report related to the animal cruelty case.
"People are saying absolutely horrible things, not just about our son, but also about extended family members, our immediate family and extended family members who live in other parts of the country," Suzanne Garon said.
Robert Garon and his girlfriend lost their jobs after the puppy died.
family, friends side of the story
Suzanne Garon said when Garon left his apartment on the night of July 29, his dog Buzz was perfectly fine.
"He left and when he got home a few hours later, his roommate and his roommate's pal, the two who gave their statements to the police, were in the apartment along with two other people," Suzanne Garon said.
Bobby said they all drank. And when he went in to check on his pup, Buzz was in dire straits. Bobby didn't know what had happened.
Suzanne Garon said his girlfriend then arrived at the house and they took the puppy to the veterinary clinic.
"They had no idea what happened like I said," said Suzanne Garon. "Bobby wasn't home."
Jennifer Keller, a registered nurse with the Physicians Regional Healthcare System in Naples and one of Garon's neighbors, said she couldn't believe Robert Garon would do anything cruel to his pup.
"Bobby was nothing but a responsible boy," Keller said. "He worked very hard and earned certifications in his job."
She has known the family for four and a half years, she said.
"I've never seen Bobby get violent," Keller said. "I see him playing golf on the golf course... He's never had a problem getting upset about it... When he's not playing well. He plays better than most adults."
What happened on July 29th?
The sheriff's office began investigating Aug. 2 after Collier County Domestic Animal Services contacted them about an alleged abuse case involving the pup.
The inquest found that Garon and his girlfriend took the injured pup to the Emergency Pet Hospital on Block 6500 of Dudley Drive on July 29.
The couple were unable to provide hospital staff with an explanation for the pup's injuries, officials said.
The puppy was wet, disoriented and unable to breathe normally, stand up or raise his head.
A veterinary examination revealed possible head trauma, bruising to the right ear and mouth, and muscle damage throughout the body.
The puppy died in hospital from his injuries.
A witness later contacted the hospital and told staff they heard Garon hit the pup on July 29.
Hospital staff contacted officials.
During the CCSO investigation, veterinarians performed an autopsy on the pup at the Humane Society Naples.
According to the Post, the autopsy report said: "This dog's death was caused by non-accidental blunt force trauma to the head and body with secondary internal bleeding. I think he suffered significantly from his injuries before he died.”
Robert Garon's family applied for a polygraph from Naples-based John Hisler & Associates - a Naples-based company specializing in polygraph testing.
The company said in a press release that the polygraph was negative, meaning it didn't show Garon hurt the pup.
John Hisler, who administered the test, declined to comment on Robert Garon's case at the time, referring questions to Day.
When asked if her son was available for comment, Suzanne Garon said the attorney advised Robert Garon not to respond to media inquiries.
Tomas Rodriguez is a breaking/live news reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Connect with him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran, Instagram @tomasfrobeltran and Facebook @tomasrodrigueznews.
This article originally appeared in the Naples Daily News: Defending Housemate Subpoenas in Naples Animal Cruelty Case
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