The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 24, 2014

More guilty pleas planned in dog fighting probe

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Nine of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty.

Federal investigators arrested them last year on charges accusing them of providing pit bulls or participating in high-stakes dog fights in east Alabama.

Court records show the arrests stemmed from a four-year investigation that included an undercover officer attending fights and police stopping some suspects with bloody dogs in their vehicles after the fights. Investigators seized more than 400 dogs during the investigation.

The latest people to file papers saying they wanted to plead guilty were: Sandy Brown, of Brownsville, Ala.; Robin Stinson, of Elba, Ala.; Jennifer McDonald, of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin, of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le, of Biloxi, Miss.

Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they wanted to change their pleas to guilty. They were Lawrence Watford, of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards, of Elba, Ala.; DeMontt Allen, of Houston, Texas; and Irkis Forrest, of Theodore, Ala.

Carlton Tippens, of Riverdale, Ga., and David Sellers, of Opelika, Ala., are seeking to enter a pre-trial diversion program.

Two remaining defendants are scheduled for trial May 8 and the other for July 14.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Coody has scheduled hearings on three days next week in Montgomery to receive the guilty pleas.

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