Trial date set for Braveheart's accused abuser

KMSS-TV
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 7:32pm

It's been a long 8 months for Bo and Ronda Spataro, Braveheart's new mom and dad.

It was 8 months ago that Braveheart was found locked and chained inside a storage unit on Youree Drive. About a month after he was rescued, 31 year old Gabriel Lee turned himself in to law enforcement on felony animal cruelty charges. Lee was both the renter of the storage unit where Braveheart was found, and his owner at the time.

After arraignment and 3 pre-trial hearings, it appears that the Spataros could soon get the closure they are seeking. In a courtroom packed with Braveheart supporters, Caddo Parish Judge John Moseley decided that Lee's trial will start August 26.

Lee was almost unrecognizable at Wednesday's hearing. Unlike previous appearances where he wore jeans, sneakers, and a hooded sweatshirt, Wednesday, he wore a button down shirt. Also unlike other times, Lee showed up on time for court. Although, because 3 rows of the courtroom were filled with Braveheart supporters, Lee had to wait in an overflow room until his case was called.

Once it was called up, he only appeared before the judge for a few minutes. After the judge dismissed him, Lee quickly exited the courthouse without incident. In two previous appearances, he lost his temper, pushing a female reporter.

There is a chance that Lee won't have to appear for trial. He could decide to plead guilty to all charges. Former Assistant District Attorney Amanda Sullivan stressed that she was not willing to give Lee a plea deal. That pleases many of Braveheart's supporters, who want Lee to have a felony record, not a misdemeanor charge that would have little effect.

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