COLUMBIA, SC — One of the men caught watching a dog fight in October 2011 will be spending the next year behind bars.
James Earl Green, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty Monday and will have to report to jail early next week, according to the Richland County Sheriffs Department.
Green turned himself into police on Oct. 18, 2011 and was one of five suspects arrested after deputies rescued 24 dogs from the woods near Greens Camp Ground Road home in September 2011. Green was initially charged three counts of felony dog fighting and four counts of dog fighting and was accused of using scissors to crop the ears off of three 4- to 5-week-old puppies.
Four other suspects, 32-year-old Jason Lundees Washington, 25-year-old Stanley Taylor, 22-year-old Jolisa Cole and Santero Smith, 24, also were charged in connection with the dog-fighting ring.
Deputies found the animals, all pit bull mixes, while responding to a tip about dogs barking in the woods.
When they arrived, they found several dogs bound to the ground or trees with heavy chains and a group watching two dogs fighting. When the people watching saw the police, they all ran, deputies said. Smith was accused of trying to hit two of the officers with his car as he tried to get away.
None of the dogs rescued had to be euthanized, deputies said. Some of the animals were sent to rescues. Others were adopted to owners, including at least one Richland County Sheriffs deputy.