LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Andrew Keiffer appeared in court in a brown ‘Mossy Oak’ t-shirt and blue jeans on Thursday afternoon as his lawyer, Mark Foti with John Parrinello’s office and Livingston County Assistant District Attorney Joshua Tonra presented several statements by Keiffer to police investigating the deaths of a dog and goats in West Sparta, for review by the court for admissibility at trial, which is scheduled for May.
Keiffer, 43, was first arrested in early June 2014 in connection to the January 2014 shooting death of a female rottweiler, ‘Zoey,’ and rearrested in February for allegedly filing a false written statement to State Police about the deaths of his girlfriend’s goats.
“We have legal arguments dealing with each of the statements,” said Foti. “None are of any greater significance than any others. It will be up to the court which will be admissible. These statements include no admissions or confessions.”
Keiffer maintains that he is not responsible for the death of the dog nor the goats, and both matters are headed toward trial before State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Moran, who has been called upon to act as County Judge and preside over the case from now on, since both Livingston County Judges Robert Wiggins and Dennis Cohen have recused themselves from the case, likely because they have both announced their candidacy for re-election as Republican judges, and Keiffer is currently one of two members of the Republican Committee for West Sparta and stands to vote on their designation by the party. Keiffer is also the leader of the Tea Party in Livingston County.
Keiffer is indicted on two separate incidents, one in January 2014 where he allegedly shot and hid the body of a neighbor’s rottweiler and another in February 2014 where he allegedly told police that someone had been shooting his girlfriend’s goats and videotaped himself extracting bullets from their bodies when in fact a Monroe County medical examiner says they died by other means.
Keiffer says that law enforcement is biased against him and police have not handled his case fairly.
ADA Tonra called upon several members of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office who investigated the incidents, including Sergeant Joe Zambito, Deputy William Cartwright, and Deputy Ryan Swanson, who say they followed footprints and four-wheeler tracks from where the dog’s body was found to Keiffer’s residence, as well as Captain Brian Applin with the Sheriff’s Office and Trooper Larry LaRose with State Police.
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.”
In cross-examination of Trooper LaRose, Foti also put on the record that Trooper LaRose told Keiffer’s girlfriend during the investigation that he “looked forward to arresting Mr. Keiffer.”
Keiffer made several other statements to police which will be subject to review by Justice Moran for their admissibility at trial, the first hearing for which is scheduled for May 22.
After the hearing, Keiffer and Foti pulled away from the curb by the courthouse in a bright purple Corvette.
PHOTO CAPTION: Top – L-R Mark Foti and Andrew Keiffer leaving the courthouse after the hearing. Bottom – Andrew Keiffer. (Photos/Josh Williams)