A Naples man accused of beating his puppy to death has two planned court hearings in early December after he entered a not guilty plea.
Detectives with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Animal Cruelty Investigations Alliance arrested Robert "Bobby" William Garon, 23, Aug. 11 and charged him with the late July slaying of his 5-month-old puppy.
Robert Garon is accused of beating his puppy, Buzz Lightyear, to death.
He bonded out Aug. 12 and formally entered a not guilty plea Nov. 14, records indicate.
Through their attorney Donald Day, from Naples-based Law Office of Donald D. Day, on Monday, the family subpoenaed Legacy Apartments, in the 7500 block of Campania Way, in Naples, court records indicate.
They're asking for copies of records relating to the apartment where Robert Garon lived, as well as for maintenance records starting July 29, including names and addresses of those who worked on the property on that date.
Day said the reason for the subpoena is that authorities refused to track them down and question them.
Robert Garon has two status hearings slated Dec. 5 and Dec. 8 — the first a motion to allow travel and contact with the family's pet, followed by a motion to subpoena the requested records.
In contrast, Day explained the state filed a motion for Garon's veterinary records, but those aren't yet at final hearing, which he said should happen soon.
Nearly one month after Garon's arrest, his family claimed his innocence.
"It has been a parent's worst nightmare," Suzanne Garon, Garon's mother, told the Daily News. "It's been horrendous for our entire family. We have all received numerous threats of violence and torture."
Suzanne Garon said the family reported those threats against them to the Collier County Sheriff's Office.
Michelle Batten, spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff's Office, confirmed they were investigating a threat report in connection to the animal cruelty case.
"People are saying absolutely horrible things and not just about our son, but to extended family members, our immediate family and to extended family members who live in other parts of the country," Suzanne Garon said.
Robert Garon and his girlfriend lost their jobs following the puppy's death.
Family, friends' side of the story
Suzanne Garon said when Garon left his apartment the night of July 29, his dog Buzz was perfectly fine.
"He left and when he came home a couple of hours later, his roommate and his roommate's buddy, the two that actually gave their statements to the police, along with two additional people, were in the apartment," Suzanne Garon said.
Bobby said they were all drinking. And when he went in to go check on his puppy, Buzz was in severe distress. Bobby didn't know what happened.
Suzanne Garon said his girlfriend then arrived at the house and they rushed the puppy to the animal hospital.
"They had no idea what happened as I said," Suzanne Garon said. "Bobby was not home."
Jennifer Keller, a registered nurse at Physicians Regional Healthcare System in Naples and one of Garon's next door neighbors, said she couldn't believe Robert Garon would do something cruel to his puppy.
"Bobby has been nothing but a responsible kid," Keller said. "He has been working very hard and gaining certifications in his job."
She's known the family for four-and-a-half years, she said.
"I have never once seen Bobby be violent," Keller said. "I see him golfing on the golf course ... He never had any issues in regards to getting upset with ... If he's not playing well. He acts better than most adults."
What happened July 29?
The sheriff's office began investigating Aug. 2 after Collier County Domestic Animal Services contacted them about a suspected case of abuse involving the puppy.
The investigation showed Garon and his girlfriend brought the injured puppy to the Emergency Pet Hospital, in the 6500 block of Dudley Drive, on July 29.
The couple was unable to provide hospital staff with an explanation for the puppy’s injuries, officials said.
The puppy was wet, disoriented, and unable to breathe normally, unable to stand or pick its head up.
A veterinarian examination revealed possible head trauma, bruising to the right ear and mouth, and muscle damage throughout the body.
The puppy died at the hospital from its injuries.
A witness later contacted the hospital and told staff they heard Garon beating the puppy on July 29.
Hospital staff contacted officials.
During the CCSO investigation, veterinarians performed a necropsy on the puppy at Humane Society Naples.
The necropsy report included the following, according to the post: "This dog’s death was caused by non-accidental, blunt force trauma to the head and body with secondary internal hemorrhage. I believe he suffered significantly from his injuries before death."
Robert Garon's family requested a polygraph through Naples-based John Hisler & Associates — a Naples-based company specializing in polygraph testing.
The company said in a press release the polygraph came back negative, meaning it didn't show that Garon injured the puppy.
John Hisler, who administered the test, declined to comment at the time in Robert Garon's case and referred questions to Day.
When asked if her son is available for comment, Suzanne Garon said counsel advised it's best for Robert Garon to not respond to media requests.
Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Connect with him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran, Instagram @tomasfrobeltran and Facebook @tomasrodrigueznews.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Defense to subpoena housemates in Naples animal cruelty case