A former Olympic gold medalist and dressage coach who shot his student has been found not guilty of attempted murder because of insanity.
Jury found Thursday in Morris County Superior Court Michael Barisone57, not guilty by insanity of attempted murder of Lauren Kanarek; not guilty of the attempted murder of Kanarek’s fiancee Robert Goodwin; not guilty of the lesser included offense of aggravated assault; and not guilty of insanity for criminal firearms possession.
Both sides of the case agreed that the relationship between Barisone and his former student Kanarek was falling apart amidst their stay at Barisone’s farm in Morris County, New Jersey. The question before the jury was whether Barisone committed attempted murder in the violent August 7, 2019 confrontation that led to the trial.
Authorities said Barisone shot 41-year-old Kanarek twice but missed her fiancé Rob Goodwin.
Kanarek testified on March 30 that she reported the accused and his girlfriend Mary Haskins Gray to SafeSport – an organization that investigates abuse allegations in US Olympic and Paralympic sports – about the couple who harass, scare and body shame them.
Barisone said that Kanarek and Goodwin threatened him but he made an insane defense.
Lawyer Edward Bilinkas said that it was horrible that Kanarek was shot, but added that the only evidence of how the shooting took place came from her and Goodwin. He accused them of omitting important facts and said they had a motive for lying. For example, the couple said three shots were fired. Investigators found only two bullet casings.
During Monday’s closing arguments, attorney for former Olympian and horse trainer Michael Barisone said Lauren Kanarek repeatedly lied to the jury during her testimony. Barisone shot and killed Kanarek and tried to shoot her fiancé Robert Goodwin in August 2019. pic.twitter.com/FILDZwIrcr
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) April 11, 2022
prosecutor Christopher Shellborn argued that Barisone did not really fear for his life. For example, Barisone told a doctor he feared for his life by citing Kanarek’s social media posts about guns, but when he called her 911 earlier, he didn’t say a word about those posts, Shellborn said.
Barisone seemed to burst into tears upon hearing the verdict.
[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]
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https://lawandcrime.com/live-trials/live-trials-current/michael-barisone/former-olympian-and-dressage-coach-found-not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity-in-attempted-murder-of-student/ Michael Barisone found not guilty by reason of insanity