Ex-Olympian pleads not guilty to attempted murder in shooting

Published 9:25 am Tuesday, January 7, 2020

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A former Olympic equestrian charged with shooting and wounding a woman at his training center last summer pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of attempted murder.

Michael Barisone did not speak at length during the hearing, which came about two weeks after he was indicted by a Morris County grand jury.

Authorities have said the Aug. 7 shooting culminated a lengthy dispute involving Barisone and a couple who had been living and training horses at Barisone’s farm in western New Jersey, where he also trains horses and riders. Barisone has claimed the couple violated a verbal agreement to leave once they were finished with the training, and police had been called several times to the home in the 10 days leading up to the shooting.

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Barisone allegedly shot 39-year-old Lauren Kanarek twice in the chest and then tried to shoot her fiancé, Robert Goodwin, but missed. Authorities say Goodwin then tackled Barisone to the ground, disarmed him and held him until Washington Township police arrived.

Kanarek was placed in a medically induced coma and underwent extensive surgery to repair damage to her left lung. She is out of the coma and continuing to recover.

A judge ruled in August that Barisone should remain jailed without bail pending his trial.

Barisone is an accomplished dressage rider. He was a member of the 2008 Olympic team and a coach of a 2016 Olympian.