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Judge hands down suspended sentences to two dog fighters

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According to Wednesday's publication of the Tennessean, two men, who pleaded no contest to dog fighting related charges, were given suspended sentences by a Tennessee Circuit Court judge.

Prior to sentencing, 56-year-old Avery Bell, had pleaded no contest to the four charges stemming from the November 2012 dog-fighting bust in Cheatham County, Tenn. The other man, 33-year-old James Callis, also pleaded no contest to the charges stemming from the 2012 incident.

Despite the no contest pleas, Circuit Court judge George Sexton gave Bell suspended sentences for the animal cruelty, animal fighting and charge for setting a fire. Callis was also facing four charges, including one for felony animal cruelty - Judge Sexton suspended the sentences for Callis as well.

For those unfamiliar with the meaning of a suspended sentence, Wikipedia provides the following definition:

A suspended sentence is a legal term for a judge's delaying of a defendant's serving of a sentence after they have been found guilty, in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation. If the defendant does not break the law during that period, and fulfills the particular conditions of the probation, the judge usually dismisses the sentence.

Bell and Callis were two of four individuals who were arrested and charged for the November 2012 incident; 65 dogs were rescued from the property, mostly pit bulls and some beagles. The dogs discovered on the property along Buckeye Road were tethered by heavy logging chains and some puppies were being held in rusty wire cages; all of the dogs on the property required veterinary attention.

Read more about the original dog fighting bust at this link.

Find a petition asking for stronger sentences for convicted dog fighters at this link.

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