A Georgia man admitted to fatally shooting his neighbor because the man’s dog wouldn’t stop defecating in his yard, police said in court on Wednesday.
Larry Bates, 46, was arrested in July for the murder of Paul Wilson. The two men lived across the street from each other, and Wilson’s wife indicated that Bates wrongly accused their dog of leaving droppings in his yard for two years straight. She says he had become “obsessed” with them.
When Bates appeared in court on Wednesday, several officers testified that he had admitted to the crime immediately following the incident. One of the responding officers also noted that he had Bates’ multiple confessions on video, which was captured by his body camera.
“Mr. Bates did confess to shooting the victim because his dog was using the bathroom in his yard,” Auburn Police Lt. Chris Hodge told the courtroom.
Henry Schotter from the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office indicated that he wasn’t even asking questions at the scene of the crime, but that Bates continuously still stated that he had shot his neighbor because of his dog.
“The suspect stated, ‘Yeah you needed EMS. If he dies, he dies,'” he said. “I asked for assistance, he said, ‘You’re going to need assistance, I shot him, I shot him, I shot him.'”
According to a GoFundMe page set up on Wilson’s family’s behalf, Wilson returned home from work that day and took his dog and his mother-in-law’s dog on a walk when Bates fatally shot him in the head and torso and killed one of the dogs. Prior to his death, Wilson had made “seven separate police calls” in regard to Bates.
After the incident, Bates was arrested on murder and animal cruelty charges. On Wednesday, a judge determined that enough evidence exists for the case to move forward.