Columbia man pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges

The Columbia man indicted on 93 counts of animal cruelty and neglect after 40 dead animals were found inside his townhouse pleaded guilty to six counts of animal cruelty in Howard County Circuit Court Monday, according to State's attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.

Brady Decker, 39, of the 9400 block of Hundred Drums Row, pleaded guilty approximately 10 months after his wife, Elizabeth Lindenau, was found not guilty and acquitted of 69 counts of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse in connection with the incident, which occurred over a three month span starting in November of 2011 and ending in January of 2012.

During Lindenau's lengthy trial, Decker testified that he, not his wife, 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.

According to Kirwan, Decker, addressing the court on Monday, called his case "an enormous tragedy for which I take full responsibility." 

Howard County Circuit Court Judge William V. Tucker granted Decker a probation before judgment, placed him on three years of supervised probation, ordered him to perform 150 hours of community service, fined him $200 plus $100 in courts costs, Kirwan said.

Decker, who previously entered an insanity plea in the case, must submit to a psychological evaluation, continue his mental health treatment and allow Howard County Animal Control to inspect/supervise any animals in the home, Kirwan said.

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