COLUMBIA, MO. (KMOX) –This should be an interesting court case. A Kansas City man accused of 17 animal abuse charges wants to bring live alligators into a Columbia courtroom when he goes on trial in July.
67-year old Ken Henderson apparently likes alligators, a lot. He was charged last June after animal control officials searched his van at Boone County Fairgrounds and found several animals, including seven alligators.
His attorney Kevin O’Brien says the defense wants to show jurors that the alligators are domesticated and that Henderson takes care of them like pets.
“We would like to show the jury that these are not normal alligators. He cares for them just like a dog owner cares for their pet. … They even sit on his lap,” O’Brien said.
As a result, O’Brien, on behalf of his client, has petitioned Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter to allow Henderson to bring his pets into the courtroom.
According to The Columbia Daily Tribune, Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Haigh said the presence of the banned gators in court would raise serious safety concerns and “literally turns the case into a circus.”
Henderson is somewhat a celebrity and has appeared on the cable channel Animal Planet with his “domesticated” alligators.
Henderson was warned not to bring his pets to town.