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Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
~ Orison Swett Marden

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I wish I could cheer this guy, but he already turned his dogs over willingly to the AR dog killers.  so while it's evidence of how wrong these prosecutions frequently are, he was willing to fight for his freedom but not his dogs' lives.  Frown


April 12, 2011

YORK COUNTY, SC - A York County man charged with dog fighting was acquitted by a jury Tuesday afternoon.

Deon Burris, 30, was arrested in February 2010 and charged with animal fighting and baiting. His brother, Anthoni Orr, and father, George Burris, were also charged.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the family's property on Feb. 20 when a neighbor called in an anonymous tip that dog fighting was going on in the woods off McConnells Highway.

When York County sheriff's deputies arrived, they found 13 pit bulls tied with heavy logging chains and staked to the ground.

Several of the dogs showed injuries consistent with dog fighting, deputies said. One had a bloody face and another had older wounds on its front and back legs, they said.

Several hundred yards behind the house, deputies followed a path that led to a wooden fighting pit. There were lights strung up around the pit, buckets full of water and blood and the pit itself was covered in blood.

Burris admitted to owning 10 of the 13 dogs and willingly signed them over into the care of Animal Control.

Last month, a jury found Anthoni Orr guilty of owning a dog for the purpose of fighting. He was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison. However, on Tuesday, the jury in the case of Deon Burris found him not guilty after less than an hour of deliberations.

Prosecutors showed the jury pictures of the chained dogs, the fighting pit, and the path from the Burris home directly to the pit.

However, the defense lawyer countered that there was no direct evidence tying Deon Burris to dog fighting.

Prosecutors told Eyewitness News that no decisions have been made in the pending case against the third suspect, George Burris.

Eyewitness News checked with Animal Control on Tuesday about the dogs seized from the property. Two of the pit bulls that were not fighting dogs were taken by an animal rescue group in Charleston.

The other 11 were too vicious to be pets. Animal Control officers said they would have killed any other dog they came in contact with, so they were all put down.


http://www.wsoctv.com/news/27522940/detail.html

more from the ARs one-track, fingers-in-ears, 'la-la-la-la-la-laaaa' agenda.

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Dog Fighting

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Dog Fighting

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused Of Dog Fighting

March 31, 2011

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. -- Animal cruelty charges against a Hancock County man who was accused of dogfighting were dropped.Tom Brookover was reunited with his 7-year-old pit bull named Tank on Thursday afternoon.

"I'm just glad to have Tank back finally," said Brookover.

Brookover lost custody of his dog in June of 2010 and was charged with animal cruelty.  Authorities accused Brookover of using his pit bull in dogfights.

"He got loose and was gone for like three days. They found him after I reported him missing and accused me of fighting him," said Brookover. "They found him. He was all messed up. He got into a fight with another dog or coyotes."

Authorities in Hancock County recently dropped the animal cruelty charges without prejudice, allowing the prosecutor's office the option to refile the charges in the future."There ain't nothing mean about him, so I don't see how they can say that I fight him," said Brookover.

http://www.wtov9.com/news/27390897/detail.html

Once again, all of his dogs were taken, his name was drug through the mud and he was found guilty of nothing!  this is more of the "humane" society's good work.

Man cleared in Orange Co. dog fighting case

Posted: Jan 28, 2011

Posted by Charles Gazaway

JEFFERSONVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A southern Indiana man has been cleared on charges involving a dog fighting bust back in 2009.

A two-year investigation led to the arrest of Brian Denny, but court workers in Orange County tell us he was just found not guilty on all charges.

In Aug. 2009, Indiana state troopers along with the Indiana Gaming Commission and U.S. Marshals served two search warrants in Orange County. Back then, they said they confiscated more than 90 dogs, the remains of dogs and items commonly associated with dog fighting.

http://www.wave3.com...man-cleared-in-orange-co-dog-fighting-case

CHARGES DISMISSED!

GREAT JOB!  I am so thrilled when I see someone actually have some guts to stand up to these bully DAs acting like whores and puppets for the animal rights driven "humane" societies.  I don't know Thaxton but if anyone reading does, please be sure and let him know if there is anything I can do to help I would be more than happy to!  I mean it - website stuff, graphics, or any other technical assistance, please just let me know.  I suspect he is not going to just let his suit drop either.  Kudos!  and thanks for standing up for the dogs!


DA may appeal dismissal of dog fighting charges
by Barbara P. Jacoby
Cherokee Tribune
October 06, 2010

Cherokee County's district attorney said he may appeal the dismissal of charges against a Union Hill man accused of raising pit bulls for dog fighting.

County Superior Court Judge Frank C. Mills III last week dismissed the case against Randall Thaxton, 46, who was arrested in October 2008 on dog fighting, animal cruelty and drug charges.

Attorneys for Thaxton argued the case should be dismissed on the grounds he was denied his Constitutional right to a speedy trial. Thaxton was indicted in January.

Mills said Tuesday he wouldn't comment on the decision.

District Attorney Garry Moss said Tuesday he disagrees with the defense attorney's argument that the time between Thaxton's arrest and indictment was too long.

"The case was being evaluated. The dogs were being examined for their hostility," Moss said. "It took a long time to get that information."

Moss said he's waiting to review the judge's order, which has not yet been filed, before deciding whether to appeal.

Thaxton was arrested by the Cherokee Sheriff's Office after a two-week joint investigation that also reached into Gilmer County.

He was arrested on seven counts of felony dog fighting, 10 counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of marijuana.

Thaxton was indicted by the Cherokee County grand jury on animal cruelty and drug charges, as Moss said he would not be pursuing the dog fighting charges.

Investigators said the 10 dogs seized from the home had injuries including scars that appeared to be from dog fighting. According to the indictment, the dogs suffered "unjustifiable physical pain."

The juvenile dogs were found on collars and chains weighing between 4.6 and 8.8 pounds. A treadmill for the dogs and breeding equipment also were seized.

Thaxton's family since his arrest has denied the charges, saying the dogs were raised for pit bill shows not fighting. They also have filed a lawsuit against the county government, which is pending, for compensation for the dogs that were seized and euthanized.

A motion also was filed by Thaxton's defense attorneys to suppress the evidence gathered from his house arguing the search warrant shouldn't have been granted as there wasn't probable cause. A ruling wasn't made on that motion.

Attorneys for Thaxton didn't return calls for comment.

http://www.cherokeetribune.com/.../article-DA-may-appeal-dismissal-of-dog-fighting-charges

April 19, 2010

News conference

In January, the Baltimore County Police Department told a televised news conference full of props and photos that evidence indicated a marijuana and dogfighting ring was operating out of Nicole Marie Caruso's townhouse in North Point. Two months later, prosecutors have quietly, and without television cameras rolling, vindicated Caruso of the charges that her lawyer said most seriously harmed her reputation in the animal-loving community. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna / January 26, 2010)

Back in January, friends and police portrayed Nicole Marie Caruso alternately as a dog groomer and a dog fighter, an animal rights activist and a drug dealer, a beloved worker with loyal clients and a thief who pilfered piles of animal meds from her employer.

Her co-workers, bosses at two jobs, friends and neighbors defended the 26-year-old. They called the charges of drug-dealing, theft and animal cruelty preposterous. Baltimore County Police Chief James W. Johnson told reporters at a televised news conference full of props and photos that the evidence indicated a marijuana and dog-fighting ring at Caruso's Lange Street town house in North Point.

Now, two months later, prosecutors have quietly, and without television cameras rolling, vindicated Caruso of the charges that her lawyer said most seriously harmed her reputation in the animal-loving community. They dropped all charges related to mistreating dogs that had been filed against her and her two housemates, one of them her boyfriend.

Assistant Baltimore County State's Attorney Adam Lippe said veterinarians disagreed with the police conclusion that pit bulls Dutch, Whezzy, Lucia, Bruno, Gotti and Kane were used for fights. The dogs - some owned by Caruso, others by her roommates - were aggressive, but all were spayed or neutered, and healthy, Lippe said. Caruso and the others still face drug and theft charges.

Caruso's attorney, Brian G. Thompson, called the initial statements and charges by police proof of an overzealous investigation that unfairly dragged a respected dog groomer "through the mud in public as some kind of Michael Vick character" to capitalize on visceral public reaction to dog-fighting.

But authorities say the case is far more nuanced. They are prepared at trial to say that although the dogs didn't fight, they played rough and were trained to be aggressive to protect the sale of $5 marijuana bags from the house. One law-enforcement official noted that these dogs "were not the type to bring home to your child."

Bill Link, who owns SoBo Dog Day Care in South Baltimore's Locust Point, where Caruso worked for six months and had a loyal following of dog owners from as far away as Towson, said this week that he would wait until all the charges are adjudicated before deciding whether to bring Caruso back to work.

She is accused of stealing medicine and equipment from Link's business to treat the dogs at her home.

"I need to let things settle down with her," Link said. His company's Web site links to Caruso's Facebook page, on which she wrote this week:

"To everyone that has supported me, THANK YOU!! my most exciting news to report is ... the cops had to admit they were wrong about dog fighting. ... They put me through the ringer [sic] and now who is going to announce on the news that they lied ??????"

Police initially linked Caruso and her housemates to the bloodthirsty sport based on evidence that included blood stains on an inside wall, photos of injured dogs, a torn-up backyard and the bulk medicine that detectives said indicated Caruso nursed dogs injured in fights back to health. They also pointed to a collar with bite marks, a leg iron with a 2 1/2 pound weight and a treadmill with paw prints, evidence, they said, of dogs forced to work out.

Neighbors said Caruso bought the treadmill for $30 on Craigslist to lose weight, herself, that she treated not only her dogs but countless strays and other injured animals she found, and that her dogs' injuries were the result of aggressive play, not sport.

Prosecutors said they are prepared to proceed with a trial and that they don't have a problem with the way police investigated or with the conclusions they reached. Caruso's attorney wishes police had done more work before making arrests and announcing the busting of a dog-fighting ring on television.

"The only evidence they had was pit bulls and a torn-up backyard," Thompson said.

A Baltimore County police spokesman declined to comment.

Caruso still has a long way to go. Court records show she has money problems. Even with animal cruelty charges dropped, she faces the possibility of prison time if convicted of the remaining charges. Her dogs are at a shelter, but her attorney said they won't be destroyed and she might get them all back.


http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bal-md.hermann11mar11,0,4140575.story

This page should make it easier to find the stories and examples I've profiled of bulldog owners found innocent after being harassed and persecuted by ARs/LE.

57 dogs taken, 28 supposedly remain.  these folks over there seem to be incredibly incompetent on a lot of levels.  I talked to Floyd last night and broached the idea of a class action.  I've also gathered some legal referrals and would love to see the ACLU or some other similar group assist these folks who are terrorized by LE/ARs in making a class action constitutional challenge to these unlawful warrants and/or seizures.

UPDATES 12-09 notice the number of remaining dogs keeps dropping.

Scott brothers get dogs back after dog fighting case dropped

Dec 16, 2009

By ABC-7 Reporter Jill Galus

Las Cruces, New Mexico - The dog fighting case - dropped.  And the canines - picked up.

The reunion made possible after New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled the search warrant in the case illegal.

Eddie, China, Ginger - cage to cage, Daron and Duryea Scott claimed a dozen of their pitbulls Tuesday.
But some confusion created a trail of sticky paws for the brothers at the Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center.
"There are 12 dogs we're going to get back today and between four properties, 43 dogs that are missing," Duryea Scott said.  "We know by reports that some were stolen, some were lost, some were given back to people who came into the animal shelter and given to the wrong people by mistake."
Police seized dozens of pitbulls from four different properties owned by the duo more than two years ago.
The Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center has since housed the dogs.
The Scott brothers faced several counts of dog fighting and animal cruelty charges.
Last month, all charges dropped when the searched warrant deemed improperly obtained.
And the reunion was free of charge for the Scotts.
Officials with Animal Control initially claimed, the Scotts had a 30-day window to pick up the dogs.
And since it is past the month mark, the brothers were told they would be charged.
"Why should I have to pay for dogs that you illegally took," Daron Scott said.
Animal Control officials say, it is a matter of miscommunication.
"I don't know whose issue it is - is it their issue, is it our issue," Curtis Childress said.  "So we're just gonna forgo any fees to that point."
The Scotts scheduled to pick up eight more of their pitbulls next Tuesday.
These other eight did not go home today because five are at another facility and three are still in foster care.

http://www.kvia.com/Global/story.asp?S=11686266


Scott brothers getting dogs back

By Diana M. Alba Sun-News reporter
Posted: 12/14/2009

LAS CRUCES -- Pit bulls seized more than two years ago from twin brothers Daron and Duryea Scott of El Paso will be returned to them over the next two weeks, said the Doña Ana County-Las Cruces animal shelter director last week.

Of the 18 dogs housed at the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley, 10 are scheduled to be picked up by the Scotts on Tuesday, shelter director Beth Vesco-Mock said late Friday. They'll get the remaining animals a week later, she said.

Charges that the Scotts had used the animals for dog fighting were dropped last month, after the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling that a search warrant had been obtained improperly. As a result, the evidence seized in the case remained suppressed in the case.

District Judge Lisa Schultz on Nov. 10 ordered that the state return the dogs within 30 days.

Apparently up until mid-afternoon Friday, when the dogs would be returned was still up in the air.

Deputy District Attorney Susan Riedel said a condition on the court order was that the animals be returned only when the Scotts could show they wouldn't be violating any ordinances by possessing the dogs. For instance, she said, the city of Las Cruces and Do-a Ana County restrict the total number of animals a person can have.

But Riedel said sheriff's department investigator Robyn Gojkovich, who's handling the release of the dogs, hadn't heard from the Scotts until Friday. She said the owner of seized property is responsible for claiming it, once a case is over.

"I think everybody is trying to work together to make sure these animals are properly cared for," she said. "Returning evidence that's a live animal is not as easy as returning evidence that's a bunch of papers."

Around 1 p.m. the same day, Jose Coronado of Las Cruces, attorney for Duryea Scott, said he wasn't certain how long it might take before the animals were transferred. He said the delay stemmed from "some issue with coordinating the right people to meet -- Robyn Gojkovich to meet with the Scotts."

In addition to the dogs, Coronado said investigators also must return documents taken from the Scotts' homes.

The animals were initially seized from four properties, two in El Paso and two in Chaparral, in August 2007. The Scotts have maintained the dogs were part of a show dog breeding operation.

Vesco-Mock said the 18 dogs, being housed one per cage because of their aggressiveness toward other dogs, have been taking up valuable shelter space. News that the animals are being returned is welcome, she said.

"It will do a lot; it will open up 18 runs for us to house more adoptable animals," she said. "It helps out greatly."

Authorities are keeping about a dozen dogs from the case at an undisclosed location.

The Scotts in August filed a lawsuit against county officials and prosecutors contending their civil rights were violated because a number of their dogs have been lost or mistakenly killed while in the custody of law enforcement, which is documented in a police report. In the complaint, they contend just 17 of the 57 dogs seized remain in the county's custody.

The lawsuit was filed in state court, but it has since been moved to federal court.

Diana M. Alba can be reached at (575) 541-5443.

http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_13992024

end updates


Dog-fighting case against Scott brothers dismissed

By Diana M. Alba
Sun-News reporter
Posted: 11/13/2009

LAS CRUCES -- A state judge has dismissed the criminal case against twin brothers Daron and Duryea Scott of El Paso, who were accused of running a dog fighting breeding operation in Chaparral.

Third Judicial District Judge Lisa Schultz on Tuesday dismissed the charges -- 50 combined counts of dog fighting, animal cruelty and conspiracy -- with prejudice, meaning prosecutors can't refile the case.

Daron Scott, who has maintained all along that their dogs were part of a show animal breeding operation, said Wednesday that he and his brother's reputations have been harmed because they were improperly charged. He said it unfairly led to the loss of his job as a teacher with the Gadsden Independent School District and he's been turned down for other jobs since.

"I just want my name back," he said.

The grounds for the dismissal were based on a state Court of Appeals decision in September upholding a decision by a District Court judge to suppress all evidence in the case.

And without the evidence -- including dogs, photographs and other information gathered from them -- there's no case, said Susan Riedel, chief deputy attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Las Cruces. Had the Scotts' attorneys not filed the motion to dismiss the case, Riedel said she would have.

"The court has suppressed all my evidence so there was no basis to go forward," she said. "The case couldn't proceed under any circumstances."

In February, 3rd Judicial District Judge Douglas Driggers ruledthat the warrant was improperly obtained. Do-a Ana County sheriff's investigator Robyn Gojkovich in August 2007 telephonically secured a search warrant for the seizure of pit bulls from the two Chaparral properties being rented by the Scotts. Questions arose about whether she entirely read the support documentation for the warrant to the judge, a requirement, and whether the telephonic approval was valid.

Prosecutors appealed Driggers' decision, but it was reaffirmed by the state appeals court.

Also Tuesday, Schultz ordered that the state return the dogs within 30 days to the Scotts.

Exactly how many dogs will be returned is unclear.

The Scotts in August filed a lawsuit against county officials and prosecutors contending their civil rights were violated because a number of their dogs have been lost or mistakenly killed while in the custody of law enforcement, which is documented in a police report. In the complaint, they contend just 17 of the 57 dogs seized remain in the county's custody.

The lawsuit was filed in state court, but it has since been moved to federal court.

Daron Scott repeated his concerns Wednesday about the missing dogs, especially considering the charges against he and his brother have been dismissed.

"You cannot get rid of evidence, unless we were convicted," he said. "This is about unlawfully taking animals."

Riedel said Duryea Scott relinquished ownership of some of the animals after they were seized. She said as of October, 28 dogs were alive and in the custody of the state.

"I don't have any reason to believe that we don't have 28 dogs," she said.

Riedel said the Scotts don't claim ownership of some of the dogs that the state says belong to them, something that must be resolved before the animals are given back. Plus, she said the district attorney's office wants to make sure the Scotts are in compliance with county animal permitting rules, before handing them over.


http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_13777223

Former dog-fighting defendants sue sheriff’s office, deputy


by Dean Manning
August 18, 2009

Two men found innocent of cruelty to animals in June have filed a lawsuit against the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office and Deputy Richard Sapcut, who investigated the incident.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in London, Joe C. Lewis Jr. and Dalton Brewer, claim negligence, false statements and malicious prosecution on Sapcut’s part resulted in a Laurel County Grand Jury returning an indictment against the men. The men seek unspecified damages and punitive damages from the sheriff’s office and Sapcut.

Sapcut claimed Joe Lewis Jr., Brewer and a third defendant, Joe Lewis III were organizing dog fights in Laurel County, using more than 60 dogs in the dog fighting ring and kept a stray dog which was used as a sparring partner for the fighting dogs.

‘Defendant Sapcut’s false and defamatory statements to the press damaged the Plantiff’s reputations so badly that some members of the public went so far as to call for physical harm to Plantiff Lewis and Plantiff Brewer,‘ the men claim in the lawsuit.

Lewis III, Brewer and Joe Lewis II were arrested in July after Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies were called to 429 Adams Road in North Corbin to investigate an anonymous complaint that the men were in the back yard fighting the dogs.

Deputies Richard Sapcut, Robert Mitchell and John Inman reported finding two dogs, a Saint Bernard mix and a pit bull, with scars.

Deputies said the Saint Bernard was chained to a stairwell near the home, only being let loose to fight the pit bull.

In Aug. 2008, a grand jury returned indictments against the three men. In October, then Circuit Court Judge Roderick Messer approved the commonwealth’s motion to dismiss the charges against Joe Lewis Jr.

Following seven hours of testimony in Laurel Circuit Court, it took a jury about an hour to return the not-guilty verdict against Joe Lewis III and Brewer.

Neither defendant has filed a response to the lawsuit. No trial date has been set.

http://www.sentinel-echo.com/local/local_story_230105700.html

Update:  May 28th, 2009.

A jury found two Darlington County men not guilty of dog fighting.
In 2007, deputies charged Michael Robinson and Wesley Truett with animal fighting and baiting. It took the jury about an hour to find the two not guilty.

http://www.southernanimalwelfareleague.org/Templates/Articles.htm

Erick Simon 30 years old faces two counts of ill treatment to animals and one count of dog fighting. Simon is out of jail on a $50,000 bond. Also arrested in connection with the dog fighting bust in Darlington County is Michael Robinson and Wesley Truett, both are being charged with animal fighting and baiting. The Attorney General's Office is expected to take this case. Truett and Robinson are both out of jail on bond.


Yet another example of the rush to judgement of law enforcement being led by the nose by the "humane" societies that juries and judges are seeing through over and over when people have the intestinal fortitude and resources to see these cases through.

NOT GUILTY!: Dunklin County jury finds Tennessee man innocent of all charges in dog fighting case

Friday, January 16, 2009
George Anderson


Following his trial on Thursday, Curtis Pickering, left, was greeted by family and friends in celebration of his victory after being found not guilty on two felony charges related to dog fighting.
Staff photo by George Anderson


Tears of joy streamed down the face of a Tennessee man's relatives following a Dunklin County jury's "not guilty" verdict in a dog fighting case on Thursday evening.

Going into the trial, Curtis Pickering, 29, of South Fulton, Tenn., faced two class D felonies for allegedly possessing a dog to be used for dog fighting, and the intent to engage the dog in fights.

Pickering, and two others, Jamie Sifford, 29, of Dudley, Mo., and Jessey Short, 30, of Cape Girardeau, Mo., were arrested on Oct. 20, 2007, at Sifford's farm in Dudley after Stoddard County Sheriff's Deputies and members of the Humane Society of Missouri raided the home on County Road 481. During their search of the property, authorities discovered several items they believed were used in dog fighting and a case against Pickering ensued as an investigation began.

In court, attorneys Steve Walsh and Daniel Moore, both of Poplar Bluff, Mo, represented Pickering

Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn represented the state of Missouri.

Judge Scott E. Thompsen, of Bollinger County, presided over the case.

Welborn faced the task of proving to the jury that Pickering was guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." To prove his case, Welborn brought forth several pieces of evidence that were collected from the scene of Sifford's property, including two treadmills, a "bait cage," a "till death do us part" plate, a toolbox full of veterinary supplies, several "break sticks" - used to break a dog's bite, many books and magazines relating to dog fighting, a rope-spring - used to strengthen a dog's bite, bovine colostrum - used to enhance a dog's immune system, several weights and a pull harnesses - used to increase a dog's strength and stamina.

Welborn also showed a photo of a horse stable that had allegedly been converted into a fighting pit.

Members of the Humane Society backed up Welborn's evidence with descriptions of how the items could be used for a dogfight and were commonly found at dog fighting rings. Humane Society authorities also took blood samples from the fight pit, which, following a lab analysis was, in fact, canine blood.

The defense pushed the issue that all of the evidence came from the home and property of Sifford and was in no way related to Pickering. The defense also insisted that there was no physical evidence provided that could directly connect Pickering to the charges he was facing.

The major item tying Pickering to the ring was a large dog kennel that had Pickering's nickname "Boogeyman" written on the outside.

During an interview conducted by the Stoddard County Sheriff's Department following his arrest, Pickering stated that he had sold the kennel to Sifford and was in town to watch an Ultimate Fighting Championship style fight in Dexter, Mo., and to pick up some dog food from Sifford's residence. Sifford was said to possess large quantities of dog food, available in bulk, according to defense attorneys.

Based on testimony, while interviewing with police, Pickering denied bringing dogs to Sifford's residence and denied fighting dogs. He maintained his innocence regarding the charges he faced throughout the entire case.

In its closing statements, the defense team insisted what it had throughout the entire trial, that there was no evidence that proved entirely that Pickering was guilty and that, "[Pickering] can't be found guilty by association."

The defense also said it would hope the jury in Dunklin County chose not to equate what the prosecution had earlier referenced as "earmarks of criminal activity", with "beyond a reasonable doubt."

After a daylong trial experience, the jury entered the jury room to deliberate at 5:29 p.m., and emerged with a "not guilty" verdict on both counts, shortly before 6 p.m.

With the "not guilty" verdict fresh in the air, Pickering said he was relieved and that he can now focus his attention on his next big trial -- parenthood.

"We're [about] to have a baby," Pickering said. "It's a huge stress off my family."

Short goes to trial in March. In July 2008, Sifford was sentenced to three years in prison on dog fighting charges and six years for a probation violation.

http://www.dddnews.com/story/1494108.html

NOT GUILTY!!! - Boudreauxs Acquitted of ALL Charges!

I got the call about an hour ago. I'll have more details and news reports in the next day or so, but I wanted to get the GOOD NEWS out right away - NOT GUILTY!

They have hounded and harassed this man and killed all of his pets with no finding of guilt.

This is a HUGE victory for Floyd and Guy and for the dog world!


UPDATE 10/27/08: I have downloaded copies of numerous online reports regarding the acquittal. I am still trying to get some url problems straightened out then will try to get the Boudreaux page updated soon.

Here we have again a case of someone having their life turned completely upside down only to be found not guilty or have the charges all dropped. See the article I am also crossposting today regarding the money driving this hysteria and the seizures. Following the money is often a big indicator of the real purpose of these movements. I hope she files suit against the county for restitution for the loss of her livelihood and reputation on these bogus charges.



Hog-Dog Fighting Charges Against Former Animal Control Director Dropped

August 14, 2008

Vicky Stultz

CHESTER, S.C. -- Vicky Stultz feels like she can finally start her life over again. Animal fighting charges against her have been dropped.

"It's been a rough four years." Stultz was Chester County's animal control director until January of 2005. A month earlier in December she was charged with misconduct in office and animal fighting and baiting. Stultz was arrested after attending what's known as a hog-dogging event. That's where bulldogs chase wild hogs, and pin them down. The hogs have had their tusks removed.

In December of 2004 police raided a wooded area near Richburg, and later seized 95 dogs and 15 hogs from the property of Arthur Parker Senior and Mary Luther. They were charged with running the event.

Stultz said animal control had dispatched her out there several times to observe the events. "I never saw any laws being broken," she said.

Prosecutors called hog-dogging a "vicious blood sport" and took Parker and Luther to trial in 2005. The couple defended the practice as part of a catch-dog training association that trains dogs to catch and hold wild hogs, not a cruel fight.

Parker and Luther were acquitted, but the charges against Stultz were not dropped until just weeks ago. Stultz just received the official notice about her case this week.

‘I was like, thank God, we finally made it through this," she said.

Her attorney Leland Greeley said the same. "I'm just glad this is now done," he said.

Thursday afternoon we asked the attorney general's office about why it took so long to drop the charges against Stultz after they lost the case against parker and Luther.

Spokesman Mark Plowden said he still believes Stultz broke the law, but they couldn't prove it in court.

"I think the law was violated," Plowden said, "But we knew that parts of that law needed to be cleaned up."

Plowden said following the failure to convict Parker and Luther the attorney general's office pushed the legislature to toughen the state's animal fighting laws. They did, and current state law specifically makes hog-dogging a five-year felony.

Plowden says the law in 2004 was simply too vague Since Stultz would have to be tried under the old law; the charges against her were finally dropped.

Stultz said after losing her job and facing depression she relied on her children to get her through. "They paid my house payment for me, and kept my life going," she said.

She's not sure what she'll do now, but wants to leave the state for a while. Something she couldn't do for the last four years out of jail on bond.

"I will get out of town for a while now that I legally can," she said. "That's four years of my life that were taken from me. I'll never get those Four years back."

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/17194027/detail.html

Here's yet another example of the publicity fed "dogfighting" hysteria. it's ridiculous that in america people have to prove themselves innocent rather than authorities proving their guilt. it's quite a sick and twisted parody of justice and another stain on the reputation of a once great, just and moral nation.

A dog lover, not a fighter

Dogfighting charges dropped against breeder who says pit bulls are part of family
Monday, March 24, 2008
BRYAN DENSON
The Oregonian Staff

You might recall Rob Sheahart, the ex-con accused last summer of running a dogfighting outfit called Dead Game Kennels. He's the luckless fellow who got indicted on dogfighting charges smack-dab in the middle of the national uproar over the Michael Vick case.

But unlike Vick, the suspended pro quarterback now serving time at Leavenworth for bankrolling a dogfighting outfit, Sheahart never fought his dogs. As it happens, he was a licensed pit bull breeder who deplored dogfighting, treated his animals like family and has veterinary records to back him up.

Five months after charging Sheahart and his wife with dogfighting and other crimes, the Multnomah County district attorney's office quietly dismissed all the dogfighting charges.

Papers filed by police and prosecutors last summer describe Robert Lee Sheahart, 39, as a suspected gang member, dogfighter, negligent grandparent, pot peddler and the owner of a pearl-handled .45-caliber pistol.

"I may be some of those things," Sheahart said, "but I am definitely not a dogfighter and never have been."


Award-winning dogs

Sheahart knows he's a rough-looking hombre. He's got a shaved head, a mural of tats, braided chin-whiskers and a teardrop tattoo under his right eye to remember a friend shot dead in Phoenix.

Here's what he acknowledges: Last July, he sold marijuana to a friend who turned out to be a police snitch.

On Aug. 1, at 4:40 a.m., police came to his home on a North Portland cul-de-sac with a search warrant. They turned his place inside out, finding almost a pound of marijuana, several cannabis plants and the .45.

A county Animal Services officer, Michelle Luckey, joined the search, seizing seven adult pit bulls and four puppies.

A report on the raid details alleged evidence of dogfighting: The animals had "severely cropped ears" to prevent bleeding during a match; some dogs appeared to be scarred; the property yielded "breaking sticks" used to unclamp jaws and a "spring rope" device that dogs leap and grab with their teeth, which strengthens their necks.

Sheahart concedes such evidence might be confused as dogfighting gear. But he said he was conditioning his dogs for legitimate competitions -- such as weight pulling, conformation and sled pulling -- sponsored by organizations such as the American Dog Breeders Association. Sheahart said his dogs have won more than a dozen trophies.

Also troubling to investigators was the mural on Sheahart's 1964 Chevy Impala lowrider. It depicts gangsters betting on a dogfight with the name of his breeding business: Dead Game Kennels.

Sheahart said this art, created by a Los Angeles muralist, was not meant to imitate his life; it was merely an artist's rendition of life on the street. "Dead game," he explained, is a slang term for toughness.


"Very good" care

In their report, investigators said they found a photo in Sheahart's house depicting a dog with "a serious head wound that appeared to be sutured up haphazardly, obviously not by anyone with veterinary training."

The veterinarian who performed that surgery, Dr. Sonny Randhawa, took umbrage. When investigators went to his St. John's practice saying Sheahart must have sewed up his own dog, Randhawa pulled records showing he did the work.

"I stopped them dead in their tracks," he said.

Randhawa eventually turned over 10 years of veterinary records that demonstrate what he describes as the "very good" care Sheahart gave his dogs.

Sheahart didn't learn of the dogfighting charges until he and Cynthia Jimenez, then his longtime girlfriend, were jailed. The couple were stunned by allegations they fought their 11 dogs and possessed dogfighting paraphernalia.

Jimenez, who recently married Sheahart, took responsibility for the seized pot and got three years of probation for growing marijuana and child endangerment.

Sheahart breeds his dogs and sells the puppies for up to $2,000 apiece. The adult animals are family pets. He said his wife, children and grandchildren -- all living under one roof -- abhor dogfighting as much as he does.

"If they knew I even had anything remotely to do with that, my own children wouldn't even want to be around me," he said.

The prosecution's dogfighting case took a major hit six weeks after Sheahart's bust, when an expert, veterinarian Charlotte J. Robinson, studied photos of the dogs. Robinson concluded the animals hadn't suffered recent injuries and weren't aggressive enough to be fighting dogs.

The case dragged on until January before Deputy District Attorney Heidi Moawad -- balancing Robinson's findings against what she called a strong circumstantial case -- dropped charges against Sheahart. In the end, she said, there was "no direct evidence" linking him to dogfighting.

Moawad referred one of Sheahart's charges -- felon in possession of a firearm -- to federal prosecutors. Late last month, he pleaded guilty to the crime in U.S. District Court and awaits sentencing.


Fight for dogs' return

Sheahart's rap sheet dates to the late 1980s. He said he was a "hothead" who carried a gun, once shot up some unoccupied cars in a family dispute, and faced charges of carrying a concealed weapon. He served a prison stretch for that crime between 1992 and 1994.

Sheahart said the most painful part of his legal saga came last August, when he phoned home from jail and learned FBI agents had just exhumed his beloved dog Loc from a backyard grave. They bagged the carcass and hauled it off to help police find evidence of dogfighting.

"That was real upsetting," Sheahart said last week, his eyes moist, voice box tight. " 'Cause he was a real close friend."

After making bail last August, Sheahart tried to get the county animal shelter to return his pit bulls. He was put off again and again. Finally, in a letter dated Jan. 23, the county said Sheahart could redeem his dogs by paying $30,130 in impound, boarding and veterinary fees. Failure to pay put the dogs at risk of being euthanized.

Sheahart's attorney threatened to sue the county for malicious prosecution and civil rights violations. Days later, the county agreed to give back the dogs free of charge if Sheahart promised not to sue, and he did.

Now it's Sheahart's wife, Jimenez, who's in a pickle.

Her probation officer recently warned her that keeping "dangerous dogs" violated terms of her probation. Robb Cowie, a spokesman for the county's Department of Community Justice, said Jimenez has been given until today to move the pit bulls or herself from the premises.

Jimenez isn't budging.

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/120633090634950.xml&coll=7


Sounds a lot like the stuff that goes on here too. The judge failed to instruct that the jurors should acquit as there was "no sufficient evidence he had committed the crimes"!


Last Updated: March 12, 2008

Man wins dogfight conviction appeal

The Court of Criminal Appeal has overturned a Dublin man's conviction on charges of cruelty to animals arising from an arranged dog fight.

However, Karl Breen remains in jail on foot of a nine-year sentence imposed following a separate conviction for manslaughter.

At Naas District Court in July 2005, a jury convicted Breen, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin Dublin and four others on charges of cruelly ill-treating two female pitbull terriers at a dog fight on October 31st, 2003, at Brockagh, Robertstown, Co Kildare.

Breen received a nine-month sentence, which was suspended after he agreed to pay ‚¬5,000 to the ISPCA. That payment is not affected by the decision to overturn his conviction.

At the Central Criminal Court last October, Breen was convicted of the manslaughter of Martin McLaughlin at Jury's Croke Park Hotel on January 1st, 2006. He was jailed for nine years.

Breen had appealed against his conviction for cruelty to the dogs and the three judge CCA, with Mr Justice Nial Fennelly presiding, and sitting with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, today allowed the appeal.

Geraldine Small, for Breen, had argued the trial judge had erred by failing to direct the jury to acquit Breen on the grounds there was no sufficient evidence that he had committed the offences.

Counsel also noted that the CCA had in 2006 quashed the convictions of two of Breena's co-accused, who had appealed their convictions on similar grounds.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0312/breaking56.htm

This guy was found INNOCENT BY A JURY. When he asked where his dogs were after his acquittal he was told that many were already dead, killed by KILL CRAZY humaniacs! This guy obviously loved his dogs and everyone in his neighborhood talked about what a great pet owner he was. I hope he sues the State for wrongful prosecution and for the value of his dogs that they killed in addition to punitive damages for destroying his dogs and giving them away to other people when he was guilty of NOTHING! Be sure and notice the comment about the State Attorney asking jurors to "wonder" about why he was keeping dogs as though innuendo and supposition was enough to prosecute this innocent man criminally. This is another heartbreaking story of animal and human cruelty committed by those that claim to be acting on behalf of justice and the dogs.

Alva man not guilty of cruelty to animals

By Pat Gillespie
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
November 09, 2007

Anthony Pew insisted from the beginning he wasn’t guilty of animal abuse and using equipment to train dogs to fight.

After about an hour of deliberating Thursday, a Lee County jury agreed, finding him not guilty of both counts.

Pew, 43, of 16911 First St. in Alva, was approached in May 2006, when a 10-year-old complained one of his 23 dogs had bitten him. When investigators got to Pew’s house, they found separate kennels, dog treadmills and a tetherball pole.

Animal Control investigators concluded the equipment was used for dogfighting and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, five months later, charged him with training the 23 pit bulls to fight. The third-degree felony charge carried a possible five-year prison sentence.

Pew took the stand Thursday and defended himself, professing his love for animals and desire to bring abandoned dogs back to heath. He detailed where and from whom he got each dog and explained why he was giving them protein-rich food and supplements. The treadmills, he explained, were used because he couldn’t walk 23 dogs a day and some needed extra exercise.

No witnesses during the two-day trial testified they had seen dogfighting on Pew’s property.

Pew testified he tried to get the dogs back from Animal Services, but they refused, saying they were evidence against him. But they levied $3,500 in fines because they needed tags and vaccinations, so Pew worked 400 hours of community service to pay off the debt. By end of the service, the dogs had been euthanized or adopted to owners.

‘I don’t understand none of this,‘ he said on the witness stand, breaking into tears.

Defense attorney Sawyer Smith asked Pew whether he had conditioned a dog to fight.

‘No,‘ Pew responded. ‘I’ve conditioned a dog to health.‘

Assistant State Attorney Eric Forte asked jurors to wonder why all the dogs Pew owned were pit bulls and were aggressive toward other animals. In many cases, he said, Pew would take in a dog that had fought and then bring it back to health and return it to its owner.

http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071109/NEWS0123/71109001/1075


Fort Myers - A Southwest Florida man accused of training dogs to fight no longer has to fight for his freedom. This came after tearful testimony from the defendant himself. Anthony Pew started sobbing as he told the court how Animal Services put dozens of his dogs to death after accusations he trained the animals to fight. Pew admitted having the conditioning equipment but insisted his intentions were good. In the end, the jury agreed, reaching a not guilty verdict after only an hour of deliberation. Assistant State Attorney Eric Forte said, "We didn't have anyone to say, 'I know Anthony Pew is training these dogs to fight,' and that might have been the problem." Defense attorney Robert Harris said, "It's been what, a year and half now, and they [the state] weren't able to come up with any evidence whatsoever that Anthony was involved with any sort of organized dog fighting." The defense believes what really sealed the deal was the testimony of a man who won several dog show trophies that he credits to Pew's dog training - proving the equipment was not intended for dog fighting.

http://www.fox4florida.com/Global/story.asp?S=7334278

September 29, 2007

Once again, thanks to pressure and mischaracterizations by the "humane" society this innocent South Carolina couple has had years of their lives wasted, lost valuable property and were ultimately found guilty of nothing except upsetting some uber-sensitive AR types. Not only does this Chynoweth woman continue to beat this broken drum (they were found innocent for crying out loud!) but this resembles terrorism. They've caused free, innocent, law-abiding Citizens to be fearful and afraid to answer their phone or go to their own mailbox out of concern for physical harm thanks to the continued false and baseless accusations, intimidation and harassment promulgated by these extremist groups. This appears to me to be ongoing and if I was them I would consider a slander, libel and/or harassment suit, and perhaps even a restraining order, against the HSUS, and Chynoweth particularly, if they continue with this pattern of conduct, and perhaps even for what detrimental action has already been committed against them.

Couple acquitted in hog-dog fighting case say they're victims

CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - At a "hog-dog rodeo" - large crowds often assemble and even bet on dogs that are let loose on wild hogs. The vicious battles are a crime in South Carolina, but that wasn't always the case. Now, a couple once charged with hosting the fights is doing dog shows again - and believe it or not, the couple say they're the real victims.

On a hot and dry September day there's a dog show in Chester County. But the two people running it aren't exactly well liked in the area. Art Parker says, "People that used to be our friends, would go hunting with us - they're scared, won't hunt with us anymore."

Mary Luther shows WIS News 10's Dan Tordjman hate letters, even death threats.

Art says people write saying "that we ought to be ashamed of ourselves. If we really loved animals, we wouldn't be doing this."

They're targets of public outrage. Art Parker and Mary Luther have received hundreds of threats and found bombs in their mailboxes.

What could inspire such hate? Parker and Luther are accused of hosting a different kind of show in which hunting dogs are let loose in an enclosed ring, attacking wild feral hogs, some defenseless, with their tusks removed. The outcome is quite predictable.

Ann Chynoweth of the Humane Society of the US says, "That's absolutely no contest for the pig that suffers bloody mutilation and complete terror."

And for that, Luther and Parker had nearly 100 dogs seized. In 2004 the Humane Society of the US raided their property. The group also found several hogs.

So, it seemed the hammer was about to drop on Luther and Parker - both charged with animal cruelty. But three years later, Art Parker says, "We've been acquitted twice!"

They were acquitted once in South Carolina, and for Parker, again in Florida.

They beat the charges by calling the "hog-dogging" a simple training exercise for hunting - in which the dogs are immediately removed from the pig it's sunk its teeth into.

That's a far cry, the two argue, from animal cruelty. Art Parker says, "There's no such thing as a fight that lasts three seconds. I mean, it's just, that's not a fight. Animal fighting is a test of wills. There is no test of wills in a field trial. It's the dog performing his task. The one who does it the most proficiently gets the trophy."

Chynoweth says, "The outcome of the Parker case was obviously disappointing."

That's because the Humane Society says it had video showing Parker at hog-dog rodeos in South Carolina and Arizona.

WIS News 10 requested copies of both, but we only got one video which does not show Parker or Luther. The Attorney General's office says it can't release any video because it's still pursuing charges in the case against a few other people, including Parker's son.

Officials like Chynoweth still contend, "It's animal mutilation. It's animal fighting - all for the sick sense of entertainment."

"There are crowds there. There are kids there. People come and pay admission price. People bet on it. This is not for training. This is not for hunting."

But officials believe the main reason Parker and Luther beat the rap in South Carolina was because it's one of only two states in 2004 that didn't have a law explicitly prohibiting hog-dogging. Now it's outlawed under the Animal Fighting and Baiting Act.

"It's very clear that hog-dog fighting is exactly what Mr. Parker was participating in, organizing throughout the state and nationwide, which is illegal in South Carolina. So if it were to happen today, he'd be in jail," says Chynoweth.

Parker maintains his innocence, showing WIS News 10 some 60 dogs returned to him in worse shape, he says, than when they were taken.

And despite being acquitted, life has changed for Parker and Luther. In light of public outrage surrounding their case and the constant threats, the two say they're the victims now.

"I'm scared every day to answer the phone, go to the mailbox," says Luther.

Parker says, "You don't pick somebody out and then create a crime for them to have committed. Yeah, we're victims."

Parker and Luther say even before their case, they held dog conformation shows and they continue to do so. Those are the shows featuring dogs paraded around a ring and simply judged based on their looks.

But the two say they're no longer participating in any events involving dogs and hogs.

Reported by Dan Tordjman

http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7129070

The AR-driven enforcement divisions so often overlook that many of these items they claim as "dog fighting paraphernalia" have perfectly legitimate purposes. Ever notice that if a lab or collie runs a treadmill it's for good health and/or maybe conditioning for a conformation show or field trial, but if it's a bulldog it must be for "training them to fight"?

Well it looks like a Wisconsin man got an impartial Judge this time who actually looked at the facts on their merits and not just the DA's resume building hype. He was acquitted of dog fighting charges.

Not Guilty of Dog Fighting Charges

September 28, 2007
By Emily Matesic

He said the dogs were his pets and that their scars came from rough play. A Brown County judge agreed, and found Kendale Smith not guilty of training pit bulls to fight.

Smith faced three felony charges after county officers seized three pit bulls and equipment believed to be used for dog fighting from his Allouez home last summer.

"I found the defendant Kendale D. Smith not guilty," The Honorable Judge Tim Hinkfuss ruled.

There was a look of relief on Smith's face and the judge found him not guilty of the most serious charges.

Judge Hinkfuss said his verdicts on the felony charges all came down to reasonable doubt. He said while the condition of the animals and the equipment found in Smith's home could've been used for dog fighting, there wasn't enough evidence proving it was.

The judge complimented attorneys on both sides of the case for their work this week, but he said more evidence was needed to convince him Smith was actually training the dogs to fight.

"The State presented a lot of evidence that could be used one way being legal versus illegal," Judge Hinkfuss said.

"There's no witness to any dog fighting event, there's no witness leading up to a dog fighting event," he went on. "There was no promotional flier, there was no cryptic message that perhaps could be interpreted that was preparing for a dog fight event."

http://www.wbay.com/Global/story.asp?S=7143782


Earlier this week, the shelter manager for the Bay Area Humane Society in Green Bay testified that Smith’s dogs didn’t show any signs of aggression. The two 4-month-old pit bulls were happy to see Smith when he came to visit, and the 4-year-old male wagged its tail when it saw him, she said.

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070928/GPG0101/70928119/1978

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