Alex Geiger at his preliminary hearing Tuesday (KSBY)
David Fear is pictured on a courtroom spectator's T-shirt (KSBY)
The owner of the dog that attacked and killed David Fear in Grover Beach last year appeared in court Tuesday.
Several people in attendance inside the packed San Luis Obispo courtroom wore memorial shirts of Fear to show their support for his family.
"They are going through a rough time right now and we are here to support them," said Robert Doty, a neighbor and friend of David Fear.
Geiger appeared straight-faced and silent as the surviving victim of the dog attack, 86-year-old Betty Long, took the stand to recount her story.
With tissues in hand, Long described the scene as, "Bloody and horrifying as the two dogs were chewing us."
Geiger's defense attorney John Jackson pressed Long to explain how well she could actually see the attack since her glasses had been knocked off. He also made her read previous statements Long gave an EMT the day of the attack. Some of the statements contradicted her testimony. Previously, Long had told the responding EMT the two dogs attacked her first. During her testimony Tuesday, she said the dogs attacked David Fear first. She previously told her daughter at the hospital she saw one dog attack David Fear but testified that both dogs attacked.
In response to the contradictions, Long stated, "I was trying to be as truthful as I could, in my mental state. This is very traumatic for an older lady, for anybody."
The next witness was Exeter Police Sgt. Brett Inglehart, Geiger's former co-worker. The courtroom learned Geiger was a K9 handler at the Exeter Police Department before moving to Grover Beach.
Geiger's Belgian Malinois, Neo, was a trained and retired Exeter Police K9. Geiger was the dog's handler. He purchased Neo from the police department when he moved to Grover Beach and kept Neo as a pet. The dog was euthanized after attacking Fear and Long.
Geiger's attorney urges people to hear all the facts in the trial.
"People need to remember to not rush to judgment on whether my client's guilty or not. They need to wait until they hear all the evidence and I think this is a hearing where new details are coming out," said Jackson.
Geiger is facing two felony counts of failing to maintain control of a deadly or dangerous animal and a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter. He could face up to four years in state prison if convicted.