Bangkok Six attorney kills himself

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:

Attorney Michael Metzger, 57, of St.
Helena, California, shot his wife Kyle in the
legs on March 3, then killed himself. He had
reportedly been depressed and drinking since
federal judge Saundra Armstrong suspended his
right to practice for six months in late 1992, after
he allegedly challenged two prosecutors to fist-
fights and asked a female prosecutor for tissue
samples “to see what species you are.”
The San Francisco Chronicle described
Metzger as “a generous, gentle man who loved
dogs and cats as well as the deer that roamed
near his home and vineyards.” As a member of
the Animal Legal Defense Fund, he defended,
on several occasions circa 1990, activists who
had been arrested while trying to stop legbreak-
ing experiments on greyhounds at Letterman
Hospital, a military facility in San Francisco.

“At that time, he seemed to support the
cause,” said ALDF president Joyce Tischler.
International Primate Protection
League president Shirley McGreal took a differ-
ent view. “Metzger was active in the Bangkok
Six case from 1991 on,” she told A N I M A L
P E O P L E. The case involved six infant orang-
utans who were intercepted in Bangkok,
Thailand, en route from Indonesia to the USSR
in an illegal deal set up by Miami animal dealer
Matthew Block and former dealer Kurt Schafer,
of Germany. “In 1991 Metzger denounced me to
the Miami prosecutors,” McGreal continued,
“saying nothing I said should be believed. Later
Block persuaded Schafer that he should hire
Metzger.” After Schafer turned federal witness,
McGreal said, “Metzger staked out his house for
three days in January 1992, honking his car horn
and ringing the doorbell. Schafer was away and
this really upset his elderly parents. In March
1993, Metzger replaced Block’s Miami lawyers,
and tried to withdraw Block’s guilty plea and
force the government to revert to the original
plea bargain,” which the judge rejected. “He
also sent me obscene and/or threatening post-
cards, and prepared and circulated a book
denouncing and ridiculing me and IPPL. This rag
included a menu for Gibbon Goulash and Primate
Prima Vera.”
“What happened?” concluded Tischler.
“We don’t know.”
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