The lawyer for the former Olympian equestrian athlete is now accused of shooting his trainee at his posh horse farm last week claiming his client was being harassed by the victim and his girlfriend – and the misdemeanor charge of child abuse at the hands of Michael Barisone was the cause of a bitter crash that ended in gunfire.
Comments were made by Barisone's attorney Jeffrey Simms, during a preliminary hearing of the horse trainer before Judge Stephen Taylor in the Superior Court in Morris County. Taylor ordered Barisone, 54, to remain in custody pending the outcome of his case.
Simms claimed that the victim, Lauren Kanarek, and her fiancé Robert Goodwin ̵1; who both lived on Barisone's property – were "squatters" and that Barisone was "in constant fear" of them .
"Moments before this, judge," Simms explained, "the victim and his partner made allegations against Mr. Barisone and his partner that in fact there were abused children.  "These are not true, they are unquestionable," he continued. "At that moment, the judge, the package of attempted threats, harassment – stood outside his room at night crying out to be done. we do everything we can to destroy you; we will do everything we can to hurt their children, it may end up in a situation, judge, that it is completely out of hand. ”
He stated that there was a verbal dispute between the parties that Kanarek and Goodwin should not have been living on the Long Valley property, which they ignored.
Clarifying his statements made in court, Simms told reporters that prior to the shooting, an investigator with the Division of Child and Child Protection, commonly referred. at DYFS, came to Barisone's property to interview him. Barisone had no children but his girlfriend had two children.
"These people will do whatever they can to hurt Mr. Barisone," Simms told reporters, "and it will come out."
Barisone, sinking. inside the courtroom with a bruise under his left eye and a sling around his arm, remained silent for a 45-minute hearing. The only words he blurted out were, "no, sir," as Taylor asked him a series of questions.
Barisone was charged with two counts of attempted murder and offensive weapon. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each attempted murder charge.
Kanarek, aged 30, remains in the intensive care unit of Morristown Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.
Authorities say Barisone shot Kanarek twice in the chest on August 7 following an argument over an ongoing landlord dispute. Local police were called to a burning 53-acre farm in horse over the past few weeks about the dispute, according to a police affidavit: Barisone also shot at Goodwin but was not recovered, police said. Barisone until police arrived, police said in the affidavit.
Kanarek's dispute with Barisone also became public on his Facebook page before the shooting.
"I was bullied by a man of 6 & # 39; 3 & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39 ;," he wrote on August 2. "Exclamation So far I am afraid."
After the shooting, Kanarek called 911 and told a dispatcher, "Michael Barisone shot me. "
" I was shot twice, "he told police.  The police affidavit stated Barisone could hear over and over again," I have a good life, "as he was removed from the handcuffs.
Taylor said he was "disturbed" by that statement.
"That was a rather lethal statement on his part," Taylor said.
In arguing for Barisone's detention, Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn said Barisone did not want to wait for the landlord's issue to play out in civil court – rather than take matters into his own hands.
"He wants to resolve issue with a gun and by murde r, "Schellhorn told the judge, adding that if Barisone was released from jail he could return to the property to" finish what he started. "
Barisone was a world-renowned athlete representing the US at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was named Sportsman International Horseman of the Year in 2009. He was trained by other Olympians, including bronze. US medal in clothing at the 2016 game in Rio Grande, Brazil and offered a ride to clinics nationwide.
Following news of the shooting, Barisone was banned by SafeSport, the agency that collects reports of sexual assault and misconduct at the Olympics.
Members of the Kanarek family attending the court hearing refused to speak to journalists.After the judge released his decision, the sigh Lauren breathed a sigh of relief as Goodwin hugged an employee of the prosecutor's office.
In an emailed statement, the family said, "At this time the family is grateful to those who supported them and Lauren through this very moment. While there may be a civil dispute between Lauren and Mr. Barisone, these matters are not just justified in using the gun. ”
Got a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
Get the latest updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com newsletters .
Alex Napoliello can be reached at pan Coveroliello@njadvancemedia.com . Follow her on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.