Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Trial of alleged dogfighting ring declared mistrial

The trial of three Boynton Beach men accused of running a dog fighting ring ended in a mistrial Tuesday, with jurors unconvinced the men participated in the illegal blood sport.

Samuel Denson, 35; Paul Green, 37, and Ricky Norfus, 36, are charged with conspiracy to commit animal fighting and four counts of animal fighting.

Boynton Beach police said the trio put on dog fights in backyards for more than a decade, with tens of thousands of dollars in bets being placed on the deadly matches. Authorities seized 15 dogs in September 2007.

Mike Maher, the attorney representing Denson, said the six-member jury came back with four members voting "not guilty" and two voting "guilty."

"It would have been nice if it had been over," Maher said. "There is no evidence of dog fighting."

The case is scheduled to be retried in late February. The prosecutor on the case, Destinie Baker, was in another trial Tuesday and couldn't be reached for comment.

During the trial, prosecutors showed pictures of dogs with scratches and bite marks around their faces, implying that the wounds were evidence of dog fighting. In the courtroom, they reconstructed a pit they say was used in the fights.

Attorneys for the three tried to convince jurors that that the only activity at the homes was the legal breeding of dogs.

No comments: