"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."
~ C. S. Lewis

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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.