LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A West Sparta man, who is the Livingston County Tea Party Leader, has been indicted by the Livingston County District Attorney in his alleged involvement in the shooting death of a neighbors dog.
Andrew Keiffer, 43, is accused of felony aggravated cruelty to animals after an intense eight-month investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office after he allegedly shot and killed a female rottweiler named ‘Zoey’ in the town of West Sparta and injured one other dog.
Extensive police records show that Keiffer, who is the Tea Party Leader in Livingston County, strongly denies any involvement with the death of the rottweiler, which was shot multiple times and found dead under a fallen tree, covered with some branches, in January 2014.
“There is a lot of evidence that suggests the prosecution does not have the full picture of this case,” said John Parrinello, Keiffer’s defense attorney. “This case will likely go on for some time.”
A grand jury of Livingston County residents chose to indict Keiffer after seeing the evidence from the investigation so that he will be scheduled to appear in court.
Police recorded statements from Zoey’s owner, Caitlin Morsch, 26, that say another of her dogs, a 6-year-old of a smaller breed, had severe lacerations on the front right leg and the rear right leg the same day of Zoey the rottweiler’s death.
“It looks like he was shot at from the front of him and grazed both legs,” said Morch. “He did have to get stitches on both legs.”
Keiffer also has a separate indictment on a tampering with physical evidence charge following a complaint filed to State Police in late February, while the Sheriff’s Office was investigating the death of his neighbor’s dog.
State Police records show that Keiffer told State Trooper Larry LaRose that someone had shot and killed five of his fiancee’s goats, and that he and his fiancee were providing video recordings of himself extracting bullets from multiple dead goats.
“I don’t know who’s shooting the goats,” Keiffer told Trooper LaRose. “All of the goats appear to have been shot in the abdominal area.”
Autopsies on two of the goats by a veterinarian with the Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County revealed that there was no evidence of gunshot wounds or gunshot inflicted trauma in either of the animals.
State Police records say that when Keiffer was read his Miranda rights by Trooper LaRose in late May and asked for a statement, Keiffer said “Yeah, f*** you!” and “Something bad is going to happen to your wife, Lisa, and son, little Larry.”
Keiffer was arrested on June 4 on the aggravated cruelty to animals charge, and his $500 bail was posted that day by his fiancee.
PHOTO CAPTION: Image Courtesy of LCSO.