Columbia man files insanity plea in animal cruelty trial

The Columbia man who testified during his wife's animal neglect trial that he was responsible for the dead animals found inside a Columbia townhouse last year filed an insanity plea in Howard County Circuit Court, according to online court records.

Brady Decker, 39, of the 9400 block of Hundred Drums Row, faces 72 counts of animal cruelty and 21 counts of mutilation after 40 dead animals were found in January 2012 inside a Columbia townhouse leased to Decker and his wife, Elizabeth Lindenau. 

Lindenau, who was originally indicted on 69 counts of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse, was acquitted or found not guilty of all counts during her trial in August and September of 2012.

Decker's trial, which was scheduled for Feb. 13, has been postponed to Apr. 23. 

During Lindenau's trial, Decker testified he was responsible for taking care of the animals, which included birds, cats and rabbits, housed inside a townhouse leased to the couple on Lambeth Court.

Leading up to the incident, Lindenau served as executive director of the Bailey Foundation, a non-profit foundation that rehabilitates and adopts out birds, according to it's website. 

Lindenau testified the couple was moving from the townhouse to the Hundred Drums Row residence in 2011 and that she had not been to the Lambeth Court residence since August of that year.

Decker, who said he moved out of the Lambeth Court residence a few months after his wife, corroborated her testimony that he was responsible for taking care of the over 40 pets left at the Lambeth Court residence. 

Lindenau testified there was no room for the pets in their new home. 

Decker said he "completely lost it" and stopped entering the residence after he found a favorite cockatoo dead inside the home in mid-December. Decker said the cockatoo was second dead bird he found inside the home. 

Decker said he routinely drove to the townhouse following the death of the cockatoo, but couldn't bring himself to enter.

After the dead animals were discovered by a property manager on Jan. 16, Decker testified he contemplated committing suicide.

Later that evening, Decker said, he was admitted to Howard County General Hospital and stayed in the hospital's mental health ward for seven days.

Also during the September trial, experts and witnesses testified the animals were emaciated and loose around the house with no water or food, and that he electricity, gas and water had been shut off in the residence. 

Decker is represented by the same attorney as his wife, Jonathan Scott Smith.

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