Thursday, July 6, 2017

Georgia: Police say Larry Bates shot and killed his neighbor and their dog after argument about dogs defecating in his yard

GEORGIA -- A family says a man is dead because of a dispute about dog droppings.

Paul Wilson, 44, was shot and killed early Sunday morning in Barrow County.

Wilson’s wife says their neighbor, Larry Bates, kept wrongly accusing their dog of leaving feces in his yard.

“My husband told him if he ever finds dog droppings in his yard, to come find him and he’ll get them up, even if it wasn’t our dogs,” Beth Wilson said.

She said Bates had lived across the street for two years and had become obsessed with them. Beth Wilson said the young couple had problems with Bates before.

She accused Bates of calling the police on her and her husband at least six times since May. She alleged Bates once called police after she picked a flower from in front of what she believed to be a vacant house for sale on their street.

“I picked a single day lily,” Beth said. “It’s one flower. It’s like he became obsessed.”

“He started harassing us about two months ago. He thought our dogs were using the bathroom in his yard and they weren’t,” Beth Wilson said.

She said they had all agreed to move on.

“Bygones are supposed to be bygones. Nothing had happened for two weeks,” she said.

Police say Bates shot and killed Wilson and one of the family’s dogs around 1 a.m. Sunday.

Wilson's widow and other family members said they believe Bates stalked Wilson the night of the murder, following him down the street before killing him and a family dog.

"He waits for my husband to come home every night, peeks through his blinds that were closed, we were watched 24/7," said Beth.

“He’s a good man. He didn’t cause any of this. He didn’t start a dispute,” Beth Wilson said.

Beth Wilson said she heard gunshots, then saw Bates run back into his home as she ran toward her husband.

“I went to try to get his pulse and I put my hand on his back and I felt him take his last breath,” Beth Wilson said.

Bates has been charged with murder and animal cruelty.

“He’s just taken everything from me -- my husband, my best friend, my future, our children that we could have had,” Beth Wilson sad.

A GoFundMe page has been created if you'd like to help.

(WSBTV - July 5, 2017)