Man accused of killing neighbor over dog droppings in yard

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — A family says a man is dead because of a dispute about dog droppings.

Paul Wilson, 44, was shot and killed early Sunday morning in Barrow County.

Wilson’s wife says their neighbor, Larry Bates, kept wrongly accusing their dog of leaving feces in his yard.

“My husband told him if he ever finds dog droppings in his yard, to come find him and he’ll get them up, even if it wasn’t our dogs,” Beth Wilson said.

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She said Bates had lived across the street for two years and had become obsessed with them.

“He started harassing us about two months ago. He thought our dogs were using the bathroom in his yard and they weren’t,” Beth Wilson said.

She said they had all agreed to move on.

“Bygones are supposed to be bygones. Nothing had happened for two weeks,” she said.

Police say Bates shot and killed Wilson and one of the family’s dogs around 1 a.m. Sunday.

“He’s a good man. He didn’t cause any of this. He didn’t start a dispute,” Beth Wilson said.

The victim’s wife said Bates followed her husband after he got off work and opened fire while he walked the dogs.

Beth Wilson said she heard gunshots, then saw Bates run back into his home as she ran toward her husband.

“I went to try to get his pulse and I put my hand on his back and I felt him take his last breath,” Beth Wilson said.

Bates has been charged with murder and animal cruelty.

“He’s just taken everything from me -- my husband, my best friend, my future, our children that we could have had,” Beth Wilson sad.

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