Dog fighting case headed to grand jury

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Badly injured dogs attached to heavy chains with no water. That's what Animal Control Officers testified today they found at a south Richmond home believed to be the center of a dog fighting ring.

A judge certified two felony charges today against 32 year old Richard Robinson. He's accused of dog fighting and felony cruelty to animals.

From the front, it's just another home on Wright Avenue but one peek in the back yard and its obvious several dogs spent time here. Prosecutors say those dogs were pit bulls and they were trained for one thing.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Alexander Taylor: "Based on testamony from my expert witness it's consistent with dog fighting."

Rachel DePompa:  "No doubt?"

Alexander Taylor: "None."

In June, Animal Control officers seized 12 pit bulls from the property. They say many of the animals were found without water and were in heavy chains - one dog was in a chain typically used to anchor a boat.

"A lot of those dogs also had injuries consistent with just simple cruelty, failure to take care of one's animals," said Taylor.

But witnesses testified many of the animals had bad bites and lacerations, consistent with fighting. Two pit bulls were unable to stand on their own. In the end 10 of the 12 had to be euthanized.

Officers also found equipment used to train dogs to be dangerous and aggressive. They say the house was littered with dog fighting magazines, syringes, and drugs and supplements used to treat dogs injured in a fight. But Robinson's defense attorney says she is going to go after the search warrant.

Shannon Taylor, Robinson's Attorney: "I believe that they did not have... they did not get the search warrant properly at all."

Rachel DePompa: "If the search warrant goes?"

Shannon Taylor: "The whole case goes."

Robinson is also facing separate dog fighting charges in North Carolina. He was also convicted of dog fighting in Richmond four years ago. Richard Robinson's mother was also charged with helping him dog fight, but prosecutors withdrew their case against her today. The grand jury meets in September and prosecutors say they may try for more charges against him.

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