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Husband: 'I Had Responsibility for Those Animals'

Brady Decker said he completely "lost it" after finding a beloved cockatoo dead in the house at Lambeth Court.

 

A Columbia man who admitted he was responsible for the said he “completely lost it,” after he found one of his favorite animals dead.

"At the point that I found [Mango] I completely lost it," he said of a favorite cockatoo that died in mid-December.

Decker was indicted on 69 charges of animal cruelty, neglect and abuse in July.

His testimony continued Tuesday in his wife’s case.

Elizabeth Martha Lindenau, 40, is currently on trial for 40 counts of animal cruelty, which was previously 60 counts until it was reduced after a defense motion for acquittal was granted by the judge on 20 counts.

Howard County officers in January discovered four live animals in poor condition and 40 dead animals in a grisly scene that made headlines across Maryland.

Decker testified he was never interviewed by either Howard County Police or Animal Control officials before his wife was charged

"I had responsibility for those animals," testified Decker on Tuesday. "I thought I was capable of taking care of them."

Decker, 39, and his wife, Lindenau, 40, cried as Decker testified in Howard County Circuit Court Tuesday.

She sat in the defendant's chair, keeled over with her head between her knees as Decker sat in the witness stand.

Prosecutors showed numerous pictures of dead animals in court Tuesday -- birds, rabbits and cats, in various locations around the home. Some were shown next to a toilet bathroom, others, at the bottom of their cages.

For years, the couple worked to take care of the birds, rabbits and cats at their house near the 9500 block of Lambeth Court.

Lindenau ran a bird rescue center called the Bailey Foundation, and would foster and adopt birds such as cockatoos, parrots and cockatiels whose owners were no longer able to care for them.

But after Lindenau got into a dispute with their neighbor, she moved out in April of 2011 to her parents' house on Hundred Drums Row in Columbia.

According to Decker, she left him responsible for the 15 to 20 pets left behind at Lambeth Court.

Decker, who works at NASA in Washington D.C., said he and Lindenau delegated duties. He was to be responsible for the animals left at the townhouse and she would handle the other animals stored at her parents' house and at a Bailey Foundation's volunteer's house.

He continued to care for the animals, feeding them on a daily basis, until mid-December, when the cockatoo named Mango died, he testified.

At that point, the water and electricity had been cut off at Lambeth Court, as Decker struggled to pay rent at two homes, as well as food for the all the animals in the couples' care.

He had moved out of the townhouse in early November, to live with Lindenau at the house on Hundred Drums Row.

He said people had seen him walk up to the door after Mango's death, but not enter the townhouse.

"I don't remember going to the door of that house and shutting out the animals that I love," said Decker.

When officials raided the home on Jan. 16, they found 19 animals dead in cages and around the house, another 21 dead in the freezer.

Decker said the couple would often put dead animals in freezer until they had time to bury them. He said he didn't remember when the animals were put in the freezer.

Decker was asked by a member of the Howard County State's Attorney's office if he said "I'll take the blame" to a Howard County police officer when his wife was arrested.

Decker denied saying it.

The case is scheduled to continue with another witness, Lindenau's mother, on Tuesday afternoon.

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Matt Wilson September 04, 2012 at 09:53 PM
These two sound like they have some serious mental health issues. Normal people don't have 21 dead animals in their freezer. Normal people don't have 40+ animals to begin with. Normal people don't abandon a house because a neighbor complained. On and on. Let's hope they get some long-term psych help, but let's also hope they're forever barred from being responsible for an animal again.
Van Halen September 08, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Saw another article where Dad said "surprisingly happy" with the verdict....well ain't that just interesting and real. Let's just hope Mommy and Daddy have a taste of TRUTH AND REALITY after listening to all this, not just stories and lies of forever past, will now step up and force changes (re-home) and get her the serious psychological help she needs too.

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