Attorney for accused pit bull killer reveals ‘mental defect’ defense
The attorney for Heidi Lueders, the former pit bull rescue president accused of starving five dogs to death, filed a motion during her brief hearing Friday that revealed what her defense will be moving forward.
Lueders’ attorney intends to show that his client has a mental defect or disease that can explain her behavior.
Lueders, the former president of Bully Breed Rescue, is charged with five counts of animal cruelty. In November, police discovered the skeletal remains of five pit bulls in her home in Fairfield.
Authorities say each dog was locked in a cage and decomposing while their collars were still on. Police say they also found piles of drug paraphernalia.
Bully Breed Rescue has since been dissolved.
Lueders’ case has caused outrage in the community and beyond, which is why it was standing room only inside the courtroom. A few dozen animal lovers and animal rights supporters were there, including the animal law advocates from “Desmond's Army.”
They say they intend to be at every court appearance and say Lueders should get the maximum penalty allowable by courts. Her next court date will be April 25.
After her previous court date, Lueders’ attorney called her a “victim of the opioid epidemic” and said that the incident was the “direct result of an addiction to opiates.”