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Evidence supports animal fighting convictions

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A Shelby County man who claimed his devotion to his religious beliefs required him to breed, raise and fight gamefowl had his convictions relating to animal fighting upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.

In Edward W. Clemons v. State of Indiana, 73A01-1207-CR-327, Edward Clemons was charged with Class D felonies possession of an animal for purposes of an animal fighting contest and promoting an animal fighting contest, and Class B misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. The charges stem from an investigation initiated by John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy at the Humane Society of the United States, who read an article in a cockfighting trade journal about Clemons.

Police found numerous roosters on Clemons’ property that were dubbed – meaning their fleshy protuberances on the throat and head were missing and had shortened or removed spurs on their legs. Animals are dubbed to be used in cockfighting. Police also found a long knife used in Filipino cockfighting as an attachment to the rooster’s leg, instruction manuals on training battle cocks and medicines for the animals.

Clemons argued that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support his convictions, which resulted in an aggregate sentence of 15 months of probation. But the appellate judges found the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemons knowingly or intentionally purchased or possessed an animal for the purpose of an animal fighting contest and possessed the animal fighting paraphernalia – the knife – with the intent to commit an animal fighting contest violation.

There was also sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemons promoted an animal fighting contest.

“In sum, Clemons has invited us to reweigh the evidence but we decline to do so,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote.


 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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