Case Snapshot
Case ID: 7481
Classification: Fighting
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Friday, Feb 24, 2006

County: Johnston

Charges: Felony CTA, Felony Non-CTA
Disposition: Alleged

» Triston Alan Hinson
» Keon Rowe - Not Charged
» Danny Edwards - Not Charged

Case Updates: 5 update(s) available

Authorities said Keon "Max" Rowe, 25, shot Danny Edwards, 31, of Kenly, around 9:30 p.m. on February 24, 2006 during an argument over a pit bull sale. Edwards was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital, where he later died, Johnston County authorities said. When authorities arrived at the scene on Highway 42 near Clayton, they found almost 50 dogs and a pit underneath a barn on the property. There was also training equipment and dog medicines located at the scene.

Authorities also arrested the homeowner, Triston Hinson, 34, and charged him with promoting dog-fighting as well as possessing cocaine. He was released from the Johnston County Jail after posting bond. Investigators are still searching for Rowe, who was last seen driving a white Mustang GT.

Case Updates

Two defendants are scheduled to appear in court on multiple charges stemming from a shooting death at a suspected dog-fighting venue.

According to reports, Danny Edwards was shot on February 24, 2006 during an argument over a pit bull sale. Edwards was airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

When Johnson County authorities arrived at the scene, they reportedly found almost 50 dogs and a pit underneath a barn on the property. Training equipment and dog medications were also located at the scene.

Tristan Hinson, the renter of the property, has been charged with murder, dog-fighting, and possession of cocaine. He is scheduled to appear in court next on April 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Keon "Max" Rowe is facing charges of murder, dog-fighting, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is scheduled to appear on May 8, 2007 at 9:00 a.m.
Source: Case #'s 06CRS 52633 and 52634
Update posted on Apr 9, 2007 - 8:57PM 
A Johnston County judge ruled last week that 38 pit bulls believed to be bred as part of a large dog-fighting operation can be sold to the public.

The Johnston County Sheriff's Office seized 47 of the animals from the scene of a fatal shooting near Kenly in February. In April, a judge agreed to return 38 of them to their owner, Triston Hinson, who is charged with dog fighting, or his girlfriend.

"The dogs are really not very human aggressive, they are bred to be animal aggressive, and that's precisely what they are," said Ernie Wilkinson, director of Johnston County Animal Services. "They are, in fact, animal aggressive."

The judge's ruling states that Hinson must turn over a bill of sale for each dog to the county's animal services or to the county attorney, listing the new owners' name and address. Each also has an electronic chip so that it can be identified later.

Workers at the animal shelter said they recently received a call from a woman claiming she bought 11 of the pit bulls in question, but so far, county officials said, none of the required paperwork has been received.

"There is always a concern in our mind, as animal people, that any animal that is fought for sport, that there may be a danger in this animal turning on people," Wilkinson said.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said he is also concerned that the dogs are being sold to just about anyone and also that the county will not be able to recoup nearly $20,000 that was spent caring for the dogs.

The future of the nine other dogs -- which were the only ones veterinarians could confirm were actually involved in fighting -- is still uncertain. Most of them are being held as evidence.

"We have eight in custody, now" Wilkinson said. "We had to euthanize one because of an incident between that and another animal."
Source: WRAL - June 27, 2006
Update posted on Jun 28, 2006 - 6:25PM 
Johnston County authorities say dozens of pit bulls were bred and trained to fight. The animals' owner is charged with felony dog-fighting, which his attorney denies.

All of the animals were held at the Johnston County Animal Shelter or under house arrest, but a judge is now setting most of the animals free. The original order was to keep all of the dogs as evidence, but the judge says that many of the dogs can be sold to the public.

The dog owner's girlfriend is now trying to sell most of them.

"Most people are very concerned when they see a pit bull walking down the street, because of the reputation that the breed has," said Ernie Wilkinson, director of the animal shelter. He cannot say what risk the dogs might pose to humans, but the judge's decision surprises him.

"These animals are very animal-aggressive. They will attack each other," Wilkinson said. "That's the way the animals were bred."

Humane Society director Rob Reder is concerned.

"Dogs that are bred for fighting and trained for fighting are unpredictable and really are a public safety issue," he said. "We would recommend euthanasia, because it's a public safety issue.

"We don't want these dogs back out in circulation, becoming once again part of a cruel, inhumane act and blood sport of dog-fighting."
Source: Eyewitness News - June 28, 2006
Update posted on Jun 28, 2006 - 6:21PM 
County animal control officials will appear in court next week asking a judge to order the owner of 47 pit bulls, allegedly trained for fighting, to pay for their care. Since the aggressive dogs were seized, the county has spent over $12,000 for boarding expenses, plus an additional $2,000 for vet services.

Triston Alan Hinson, 34, of Stancil's Chapel was charged with dog fighting on February 24. Last week he was charged with murdering Danny Ray Edwards of Kenly during a dispute at his home that same night. Another man, Keon Rowe of Scotland Neck, is charged with the homicide, but not dog fighting. Animal Services Director Ernie Wilkinson said this is the first time a new state law, adopted in 2005, will be used to seek reimbursement for reasonable care of the animals pending the disposition of the case in court. If Hinson is unable to pay, the law allows the county to put the pets up for adoption or have them humanely euthanized. Wilkinson said the 47 dogs take up most of the 70 spaces for animals in the shelter. Because the county is forced to keep the dogs until Hinson goes to trial, other animals are paying a price. Wilkinson said the county was forced to temporarily suspend adoptions since the vicious pit bulls were brought in last month. And the hold time for stray animals at the shelter has dropped from seven days to 72 hours before they are euthanized. "Good animals are not able to be adopted, because we have no adoption area for them," Wilkinson said.
Source: WMPM News - March 2006
Update posted on Mar 24, 2006 - 9:50PM 
Johnston County sheriff's deputies have charged another man with murder in a shooting at a suspected dog-fighting venue last month.
Danny Ray Edwards was shot and killed Feb. 24 at a farm outside Kenly. Tristan Hinson, the renter of the home on J. Howell Road, is now charged with first-degree murder in Edwards' death.

Deputies had already charged Keon K. Rowe with Edwards' death. Rowe, who was staying with Hinson at the time of the shooting, was arrested by U.S. marshals in Virginia last week.

Today, deputies also charged Rowe with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Both Rowe and Hinson are being held in the Johnston County jail.

After the shooting, sheriff's deputies found 47 pit bulls trained for fighting at Hinson's farm. He is also charged with felony dog fighting.
Source: The News & Observer - March 16, 2006
Update posted on Mar 16, 2006 - 2:56PM 


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