CBS News’ ‘48 Hours: The Shooting of Lauren Kanarek’ delves into the legal proceedings that followed a shooting at a horse farm in Washington Township, New Jersey. Michael Barisone, a celebrated dressage coach, was at the center of it. In August 2019, he shot Lauren Kanarek, one of his students, and was later arrested for attempted murder. So, if you’re curious about what happened to him in the aftermath and where he might be today, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Michael Barisone?
Michael Barisone was a reserve member on the US dressage team in the 2008 Olympics. After representing the country, he became a well-known dressage coach, training multiple top-level athletes. Michael trained other Olympians like Boyd Martin and Allison Brock. The latter even won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics. At the time of the incident, Michael owned two horse farms, one in Washington Township in Morris County, New Jersey, where things began to devolve.
Sometime in March 2018, Michael had Lauren Kanarek begin to train with him and had her live on the property with her fiancé, Robert Goodwin. But by the summer of 2019, things began to go awry. At the time, Lauren felt she wasn’t getting enough training from Michael, leading to her using social media to document what was happening. Michael said, “There were things coming out on social media that were horrific. I remember complete and total panic. Everybody says I was unglued. I was unglued.”
Lauren accused Michael of being “racist” and “homophobic” and claimed that he and his girlfriend at the time, Mary Gray, bullied her. Michael had claimed that Lauren and her partner had not kept up their word of leaving the property once the training was over. He had called 911 several times, calling the couple squatters and claiming they harassed him. Michael also stated that he feared for his life but felt the authorities only looked at the situation like it was a landlord-tenant dispute.
The issue between Michael and Lauren reached a boiling point on August 7, 2019, when the latter suffered two gunshot wounds in the chest. She identified Michael as the shooter, and he was soon taken into custody. He claimed to have shot in self-defense, and his attorneys later said he was temporarily insane at the time of the shooting. Michael’s team noted that apart from the social media posts, Lauren and her partner beat Michael and had their dog attack him shortly before the shooting.
Furthermore, it was reported that Lauren had secretly recorded conversations between Michael and his staff in the months before the shooting. Michael’s defense said the recordings were illegal. Not just that, he had also called SafeSport, an anti-abuse organization for Olympic sports, to file a complaint regarding Lauren. Michael had even hired a private investigator to look into Lauren and her past.
Where is Michael Barisone Today?
Michael Barisone’s defense team had an expert witness testify that he was “temporarily insane.” The expert attributed it to Lauren’s behavior, which included inflammatory social media posts. According to the doctor, Michael had developed a delusional disorder as a result. Furthermore, Michael stated that he remembered going into his office but didn’t remember taking the gun and shooting Lauren.
The prosecution countered the claims with their own medical expert, who expressed doubts regarding Michael only remembering certain events from that day. But in April 2022, a jury found Michael, then 58, not guilty by reason of insanity for one count of first-degree attempted murder of Lauren. Furthermore, he was found not guilty of attempting to kill Robert and was acquitted on two counts of weapons charges.
In September 2022, Michael was ordered to be transferred to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey, for treatment. He will have a follow-up hearing six months later to determine progress. After the incident, the farm in New Jersey was sold, leaving him with his other farm in Florida, where he would live once released. Michael has had ample support from the dressage community and his girlfriend, Lara Osborne. As of May 2022, he remained suspended by SafeSport, but Lara hoped that wouldn’t be permanent.
Read More: Where is Lara Osborne Now?