Petition for Damages Filed in Killing of Winnfield Pet Case

A Petition for Damages was filed by Christopher Maxwell naming Michael Lance Gardner as the Defendant on Friday, May 28, 2021, in the City of Winnfield Clerks office. 

According to the court documents on or about May 31, 2020, Defendant willfully trespassed onto Petitioner’s home property at 161 Country Club Road with malicious intent and cruelly killed Petitioner’s female creme colored Golden Retriever inside a fenced yard. Defendant then removed the dog from Petitioner’s yard and transported her to a vacant house on Country Club Road where her body was found. 

The Petition request that the court award the Petitioner $8,000 to cover replacement value for the dog, veterinary costs, and miscellaneous expenses/damages including but not limited to cremation costs, mental health, and security upgrades to help secure property from future attacks from Defendant. 

Included with the court documents obtained by the WPJ is a personal letter from Gardner to Maxwell apologizing and taking responsibility for the death of the family pet.

News of the killing of the family pet broke on the WPJ on June 16, 2020.

The arraignment of Gardner has been postponed numerous times due to COVID-19.

In April of this year, Winnfield DA Chris Nevils and District Court Judge Anastasia Wiley recused themselves from the case and transferred it to the Attorney General’s office.

Assistant Attorney General Winston White, part of the Criminal Division, is now in charge of the case.

“I recused myself due to some LLC work I had done for Gardener,” Nevils said. “I’d have liked to see it through, but I have a lot of faith in the assistant attorney general. A lot of times they give it to some guy fresh out of college, but they put their best people on this one.”

Read WPJ’s original story here

Read court documents below.

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