Second Defendant in Alabama Dog-Fighting Ring, Jennifer Kelley, Pleads Guilty

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

The second defendant in the New Site, Alabama, dog-fighting ring bust has plead guilty. Jennifer Kelley, 26, is the second of six people who were indicted in connection with the raid in November.

Kelley entered a plea of guilty on Friday to four counts of aggravated animal cruelty and was sentenced to three years for each count by Tallapoosa County Circuit Judge Tom Young, according to the Alex City Outlook.

An agreement with prosecutors allowed Kelley to serve a split sentence of 10 months in jail and three years' probation. If she violates her probation, this privilege can be revoked and she could be ordered to serve the remainder of her original sentence.

She also must pay restitution, which includes housing for the dogs that were taken by authorities while awaiting a court date.

In November, authorities rescued dozens of Pit Bulls and puppies found in deplorable, inhumane conditions--many of them without clean water or shelter--at three sites in Tallapoosa County. Most of the dogs were held on heavy chains and suffered untreated injuries consistent with dog fighting. Many had other medical issues.

A total of six people were indicted in the operation of the dog fighting ring, including Roderick Sweetwyne, 42, of Alexander City. He plead guilty last week to four counts of dog fighting and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

Four remaining defendants under the indictment are awaiting trial/ssentencing.

The operation was carried out by a collaborative effort of federal, state and local agencies, including the New Site Police Department, the Tallapoosa County Sheriff's Department, Alexander City Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Humane Society of the United States.


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