CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There are local ties to the woman accused of shooting a homeless man who asked her to move her Porsche in Nashville.
The family of Katie Quackenbush is well known in the Capital Region. Her uncle is a local mayor, her father a graduate of Canajoharie High School and a prominent attorney who now practices in Texas. He says his daughter is innocent and has been vilified in the media.
“She has become an international villain of homeless people when that could be the furthest from the truth about her true character and demeanor,” Jesse Quackenbush, Katie’s father, said.
A father of five born in Amsterdam defended the actions of his daughter who’s charged with the attempted murder of homeless man Gerald Melton.
“She’s a decent young woman, she wouldn’t even shoot an animal let alone a human being,” Jesse said.
The 26-year-old mom lives in Nashville and is an aspiring singer.
Last month she was giving a friend a ride to her car after a night out on Music Row, that’s where the pair came into contact with Melton and that’s where accounts differ.
According to the police version, Melton was trying to sleep on the sidewalk and was annoyed by exhaust fumes and loud music from Katie’s Porsche.
An argument ensued and she shot at him twice and fled. Not so, says Jesse and says his daughter was threatened by Melton and feared for her life.
“Pounding on her car repeatedly saying he was going to kill them if they didn’t turn the music down, he couldn’t sleep,” Jesse said.
He says the women thought Melton had wandered away, so Katie walked her friend to her car but Melton was lurking nearby.
“She held her gun up and said get the f*** away from me I have a gun, she said it a second time, get the f*** away from me, I have a gun.”
He says Katie fired two warning shots and sped away, having no idea that she hit Melton in the hip and stomach, leaving him in critical condition.
“Katie and her friend were immediately being portrayed as these Thelma and Louise type merciless homeless killers and the frenzy began.”
He says the sensationalism is overshadowing the truth and that his family has received death threats.
Nashville Police maintain the incident was “thoroughly” investigated before Katie was arrested.
Katie is out on bail and is due back in court in early October.