ILNews

Evidence supports animal fighting convictions

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

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.


 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

ADVERTISEMENT