Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18387
Classification: Fighting
Animal: chicken
More cases in Lawrence County, AL
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Judge(s): Angela Terry

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Sunday, Aug 7, 2011

County: Lawrence

Disposition: Alleged

» Alice Diane Riddle
» Grady Darrel McCroy
» Larry Dale McCroy
» Jason Dale Riddle - Convicted
» James Alton Way
» Tony Lee Gregory
» Richie Ray Kirby - Dismissed
» James Michael Roper - Convicted
» Joel Rice - Convicted
» Isalas Pachero
» Daniel Oneal Smith
» Terry Elton McDonald - Dismissed
» Joseph Lynn Holmes
» Loyd Leidon Brooks - Dismissed
» Matthew Thomas McDonald - Dismissed
» Jimmie Dumont Laney - Dismissed
» Maggie Lee Gillespie
» Loyle Gene Dunlap
» James Russell Garnett
» Tony Joseph Parker
» Davvie Ray Gillespie
» Caleb Chester Chaney
» Samaul Jacob Parker
» Zackary Clay McLeroy
» Lisa Hogan Terry
» Mary Neil Cochran Gillespie

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Police in Lawrence County busted a cock fighting ring on Sunday.

Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said that the raid happened at 3616 County Road 81 in the Speake Community.

Lawrence County Drug Task Force agents along with the assistance of Sheriff's Deputies raided the property after conducting a month long investigation.

Mitchell said an undercover agent was able to witness illegal cock fighting, as well as illegal drug activity that was occurring on the property.

Mitchell said that agents also discovered several roosters that were dead or severely injured.

Charges included unlawful possession of a controlled substance, chicken fighting, gambling and cruelty to animals.

Mitchell said the organizers, Davvie and Mary Gillespie, were among those arrested.

Agents discovered the Gillespies were also operating a concession stand which sold food and drinks to the patrons.

Investigators said the Gillespies were charging $20.00 for admission and a $150.00 fee for participants.

Sheriff Mitchell said that agents found documentation which broke down the financial setup of the illegal cock fighting operation.

Agents also found narcotics in the form of marijuana and meth, as well as drug paraphernalia in the form of digital scales and smoking devices.

Lawrence County Animal Control was called in to take possession of the live roosters.

Mitchell said in all, 31 people were arrested, including juveniles and adults. The adults include:

Grady Darrel McCroy, Cullman
Larry Dale McCroy, Hanceville
Jason Dale Riddle, Tuscumbia
James Alton Way, Trinity
Alice Diane Riddle, Muscle Shoals
Loyle Gene Dunlap, Moulton
Tony Lee Gregory, Cullman
Richie Ray Kirby, Moulton
James Michael Roper, Cullman
Jimmie Dumont Laney, Cullman
Joel Rice, Trinity
Isalas Pacheco, Trinity
Terry Elton McDonald, Russellville
Matthew Thomas McDonald, Leighton
Daniel Oneal Smith, Russellville
Joseph Lynn Holmes, Hanceville
Loyd Leidon Brooks, Cullman
Tony Joseph Parker, Russellville
Davvie Ray Gillespie, Decatur
Mary Neil Cochran Gillespie, Danville
Lisa Hogan Terry (no address available)
Zackary Clay McLeroy, Cullman
Samaul Jacob Parker, Russellville
Caleb Chester Chaney, Russellville
James Russell Garnett, Vinemont
Maggie Lee Gillespie, Danville

The juveniles who were arrested have been released to their parents or guardians.

The suspects face various charges, including unlawful possession of a controlled substance, cock fighting, obstructing government operations, gambling and cruelty to animals.

Case Updates

Charges against eight of the 31 people arrested in August at a cockfight have been dismissed in Lawrence County District Court.

Three of those charged " Joel Rice, 588 Ghost Hill Road, Trinity; Jason Dale Riddle, 1740 Spring Valley Road, Tuscumbia; and James Michael Roper, 2111 Cullman County 114, Cullman " pleaded guilty and received fines of about $700 each.

All had been charged with gambling, cockfighting and animal cruelty.

District Judge Angela Terry said she would review charges against the remaining defendants and would have a decision in about two weeks. Several of the defendants live in northwest Alabama.

Terry dismissed charges against three youthful offenders whose names were not released, and the following: Loyd Leidon Brooks, 7451 Cullman County 1245, Cullman; Jimmie Dumont Laney, 11466 U.S. 278, Cullman; Richie Ray Kirby, 10346, Lawrence County 460, Moulton; Matthew Thomas McDonald, 214, Hopewell Church Loop, Leighton; and Terry Elton McDonald, 160 Piney Woods Road, Russellville.

On Aug. 7, the Lawrence County Drug Task Force arrested adults and juveniles at a cockfight at 3616 Lawrence County 81 in the Speake community. Most were charged with cruelty to animals, simple gambling and cockfighting.

Authorities said Davvie and Mary Gillespie organized the event.

Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said marijuana, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and several roosters that were severely injured or dead were found at the event in August.

On Wednesday, the judge reviewed video taken by the drug task force inside the building where the cockfight was held. Task force agents also testified about roosters being weighed and fought as well as bets being taken on the fights.

Drug task force Director Amard Martin said that while some charges were dismissed because of a lack of evidence, he believes "justice was served."

"The main thing was to send a message that we're not going to put up with cockfighting, whether you're there watching it or brought a chicken there to fight," he said.

Attorney Chris Malcom, who represents five of those charged, said vehicles and other property taken by authorities haven't been returned to his clients, all of whom live in Cullman County.

Mitchell said Wednesday that releasing the vehicles would be unusual while the case was pending.

Martin said the drug task force acted in accordance with the law in seizing vehicles and property.

"We don't do anything that would show a blemish on the task force or the Sheriff's Office," he said. "Everything we do is always what the law says."

Some of those who faced charges said they felt wrongly targeted and don't believe cockfighting is cruel. They questioned how they could be charged with animal cruelty when roosters confiscated during the fights are usually euthanized.

Rusty Garnett, of Vinemont, said he and others received worse treatment from law enforcement than the alleged acts of cruelty against the animals.

"We were laying in ant beds, and they said if we moved they'd Tase us," he said.

"People don't realize this has been going on for hundreds of years," said Tim McCroy, who wasn't charged but was at the courthouse Wednesday in support of family. "It was handed down from the presidents."
Source: - Nov 17, 2011
Update posted on Nov 18, 2011 - 10:41AM 


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