The Union Recorder

November 2, 2012

Hancock County men tried for dog fighting

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

SPARTA —  

Former Sparta police officer Travis Edwards, also known as Travis Walker, pleaded guilty to single counts of dogfighting and cruelty to animals Monday. Edwards was sentenced to five years for dogfighting, which he is allowed to serve on probation.

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Reg Bellury said Edwards has to serve between 150 to 180 days in the probation detention center in addition to paying a $5,000 fine.

He voluntarily gave up his peace officer post as part of the sentence. 

Edwards was also sentenced to 12 months probation for cruelty to animals concurrent with the other count.

The trial for co-defendant Reginald Rayshon Shiver began Tuesday and wrapped up Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Shiver was found not guilty of dogfighting.

Edwards was arrested along with Shiver on the charges March 12 after his ex-wife ran across a dogfighting videotape. Edwards was on the tape, which found its way to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“That video was enough to churn your stomach it was so terrible,” Bellury said.

Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright said the original case was opened by request.

GBI Special Agent Cayce Ingalls investigated the case once Bright asked for an inquiry into the allegations against Edwards and Shivers.

Both men were indicted on one count each of dogfighting by a Hancock County grand jury March 26.

Several dogs were seized from Edwards' home, leading to an additional indictment for misdemeanor cruelty to animals. 

One of the dogs seized was extremely malnourished and dehydrated, and eventually died.

Bellury said it was clear that Edwards had a past with dogfighting due to testimony and animal skeletons found on his property. 

Dogfighting is a felony and carries a sentence of one to five years and a fine of not less than $5,000. Cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor under Georgia law carrying a sentence of no more than 12 months and a fine of up to $1,000.

 

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