A Putnam County judge denied a motion this week that would have allowed a woman to bring her emotional support monkey to accompany her to court during an upcoming trial in which she's accused of selling drugs.
Attorney Gordon Byars argued on behalf of his client, Barbara Myers, that the 17-year-old black handed spider monkey named Carlose should be able to sit in court because he helps Myers deal with the post traumatic stress disorder she suffers from.
"In the event she were to testify in her own defense we wanted her to have Carlose with her. My client does carry this monkey around, Barbara does everywhere she goes," Byars said.
"In my experience with him he’s been very well behaved, no issues with him what so ever but he is a monkey so he’s not your typical service animal," he continued.
The criminal defense attorney says he searched for precedent surrounding monkeys in court but was unable to find any. Although the American with Disabilities Act does mandate service dogs be permitted into court it excludes other animals.
"Carlose the monkey, he makes her (Barbara) feel more comfortable and he helps abate that anxiety and reduce the need for her to take medication. He’s very friendly, his teeth have been removed he’s not a violent monkey," he added.
Judge Gary McKenzie though ruled this week that Carlose will not be permitted, citing the lack of service training he has had speficially surrounding courtroom settings.
"It’s easy for people to think this is funny or a joke but what’s important to remember is it’s not funny at all for Barbara Myers, it’s just not," Byars said.
Barbara Myers' trial will begin in October without Carlose the monkey by her side.