Daughter of Fred Lee Wright, Louisville man who killed neighbor’s dog, speaks about dispute
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The daughter of a Louisville man who killed his neighbor’s dog said that while she doesn’t condone what happened, he’s not to blame for ongoing problems with his neighbor.
Fred Lee Wright, 62, Cub Drive, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of violating an order of protection issued regarding his neighbor, Diane Stephens. Wright was previously arrested Aug. 27 on charges of intentionally killing an animal and stalking after Stephens’ dog was found dead.
Wright is being held at the Blount County Jail on $25,000 bond pending a Sept. 26 hearing.
Hallie Pillar, Wright’s daughter, said she moved out a couple of years ago, but knows well what the situation is like for her parents.
“Ever since she moved in ... it’s just been constant,” Pillar said. “It’s always something.”
Both Pillar and Stephens said Fred Wright and his wife would do yard work for Stephens, who would pay them for their services. But they disagreed on how the problems between the two houses started.
Pillar said her father was working on Stephens’ property one day while her mother worked on theirs when Stephens came down and started an argument.
“She just lost her mind on (my parents),” Pillar said, adding that’s when Stephens began harassing her parents.
Stephens, whose lived at the residence for about seven years, said that wasn’t the case and that the agreement between the two parties broke down after the Wrights began completing additional work she had not requested. She said they cut down several plants she had asked them not to touch and were also burning brush on her property.
Stephens said when she confronted Fred Wright, he chased her up her driveway while on his mower and attempted to beat her door in.
Stephens said she’s also not the only neighbor who has had problems with the Wrights.
“(Fred Wright’s) violence has escalated in the last three years,” Stephens said. “At least his violence towards me ... I moved here because it was peaceful and nice and small-town. Now it’s not such a good place to be.”
Pillar said there are several cats roaming Stephens yard which are not properly taken care of. Stephens said she does foster several animals and is part of a trap, neuter and release program as a supporter of the Feral Feline Friends group out of Knoxville. But she said all of her animals are properly cared for and she will keep those animals who need additional care.
Pillar said Stephens took one of her mom’s dogs and surrendered it to the Blount County Animal Shelter. And while Stephens said she did take the dog in, she told a different story about the situation.
Pillar said the dog, a Boxer, was hooked up to a chain in her parents’ yard when they discovered she was no longer in the yard. They then got a call from the animal shelter informing them the dog had been turned over to the shelter. Pillar said her mother could not afford to pay to get the dog back, so was forced to surrender the animal.
Stephens said she didn’t take the dog from the Wrights’ yard and that the dog had previously killed one of her cats. She said she called Blount County Animal Control and they refused to pick up the animal.
Stephens said a short time later she found another of her cats in the dog’s mouth and then saw the dog kill a raccoon on her property. She said she then decided to take the dog to the shelter.
Stephens said that the dog Fred Wright killed was a 7-month-old Miniature Pinscher named Kyra. Stephens said she was fostering the dog and had the animal for about two months when it was killed. She said it was obvious the dog was not only shot, but tortured as well.
“I can’t imagine anybody would be capable of doing what he did to that puppy,” Stephens said.
Pillar said she agreed that what her father did was wrong.
“I understand what he done was horrible and he knows that,” Pillar said.