17 indicted for dog fighting

Published 10:59 pm Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seventeen suspects of taking part in a dog-fighting ring were indicted Tuesday by the Marengo County grand jury.

On July 26, Marengo County Sheriff’s officers — with help from Sumter County, Demopolis and Tuscaloosa — raided a house on Cinnamon Street in Linden. They arrested the 17 for dog fighting and possession of marijuana and a controlled substance.

“We got them just before the fights started,” Marengo County Sheriff Jesse Langley said after the raid. “There were about 25 of them, and when we hit them, they took off like a covey of quail.”

The 17 suspects come from small towns and big cities, from Linden to Birmingham.

Indicted were Taletha Bates, Magnolia; Javoris Conner, Greensboro; James Cotchery, Birmingham; Marcus Hopson, Birmingham; Ronald Horn, Ensley; Cedric O’Neal Jones, Sawyerville; Tyrone Lewis, Sawyerville; Tommy Paige, Demopolis; Terrell Parker, Sawyerville; Charles Sanders, Sawyerville, Tommy Sanders, Birmingham; Charles Smith, Demopolis; Lewis Taylor Jr., Linden; Charles Walker, Birmingham, Allen Williams, Newbern; and James Williams, Newbern.

The dogs, which had to be put down after the raid, were mostly 1- to 3-year-old mixed-breed pit bulls, each weighing about 45 pounds. Most of them bore scars on their mugs, flanks or legs.

This is the largest case Alabama has seen in years.

District Attorney Greg Griggers said at the time that he plans to deal with the suspects as hard as they can. “I don’t foresee my cutting any kind of a deal that doesn’t involve time locked up,” he stated said.

The Grand Jury also handed down 91 other indictments, including one for attempted murder.

Georgetta Essex of Demopolis was arrested Sept. 29 after an apparent to kill Darneisha Swett. Swett was shot three times with a handgun.