O'FALLON, MO (KTVI)-- A one-of-a kind criminal case that's drawn nationwide interest went to court in O`Fallon, Missouri Monday night.
Authorities are prosecuting Rose Lakey for allegedly making a false 911 call. She called 911 when her massive Great Dane, Oreo, collapsed and died at her home Easter Sunday.
Lakey went to O'Fallon Municipal Court hoping to tell her side of the story and convince the judge to throw out the case. Instead he told her the court was too swamped to hear her explanation. He gave her a date for a pretrial conference with O'Fallon City Prosecutor Vince Johnson.
Judge Larry Nesslage said there were close to 300 defendants with matters pending before the court Monday night.
"I just hope they see my side, that I didn't do what they're saying I did," Lakey said waiting in the long line to get into the courtroom.
"I brought a photo to show how large the dog was and how we needed help with this," she said holding a photo of Oreo next to her husband Randy. Oreo looks quite a bit bigger than her husband in the photo.
Oreo, the dog that once appeared on the front page of the Post-Dispatch for being in the Soulard Pet Parade, collapsed and died at the Lakey home on April 8th. Oreo was like the Lakey's third daughter; only bigger than their two girls, who are now in their 20s.
"It still is bad right now, losing her. There are things we can't do that we did with her. We've even considered selling our house because we see her everywhere in that house," Rose Lakey said.
The day after the 911 call, O'Fallon police gave Lakey a ticket for making a false report. She said she called 911 when she and her husband were unable to move Oreo. Police said she told them her 'daughter' not her 'dog' collapsed. Lakey said she remembered saying 'dog' at the beginning of the call, but admitted she might have said 'daughter' later.
"That's [the citation's] ridiculous for that," said Rich James, due in court for a traffic ticket, waiting in line ahead of Lakey and her husband. "Shouldn't even bring up a charge for that I don't think."
"We actually considered just coming in here and saying we're guilty and paying the fine and just putting this behind us," said Randy Lakey, Rose's husband. "Then we thought, we've just been through so much because of this. We should fight, because we didn't do anything."
A couple of Rose Lakey's co-workers were there in support. They said there was a 'Support Rose and Oreo' t-shirt in the works.
"That should have been the end of it [if police] told her, 'Hey, maybe next time call the non-emergency` [line]. I think they just kind of went a little overboard coming back the next day and giving her a ticket," said Rose Lakey's co-worker, Stephen Bell.
That pretrial conference is set for June 6th. Judge Nesslage said Lakey could meet with Johnson, the prosecutor, to give her side of the story. Johnson would then decide whether to pursue the matter.
Since FOX 2's first report last month, news outlets around the country had picked up the story. Lakey faces a fine if found guilty. One man who saw the story offered to pay any fine the judge might impose.
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