MEDIA RELEASE: Adams County Dogfighting Conviction Upheld by Mississippi Supreme Court
NATCHEZ, Miss. (September 30, 2021) — In Defense of Animals is applauding a ruling by the Supreme Court of Mississippi upholding the conviction in the case of Tommie Queen, who was convicted for dogfighting in 2019.
“This case was absolutely heartbreaking, and we’re grateful to those who aided the dogs involved, and that the court recognized the severity of the crime and ruled to deny Queen’s appeal,” said Doll Stanley, Director of In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign.
In 2017, the Adams County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about barking dogs. It led to a three-day investigation culminating in the seizure of more than 50 seriously injured and starving dogs and the remains of many others at a property in Cranfield. Nine of the dogs rescued were in such poor condition they had to be euthanized. Evidence pointing to a dogfighting ring was also found on the property by investigators.
Tommie Queen was arrested and charged with aggravated animal cruelty and possession of stolen property.
After a two-day trial and four hours of deliberation by the jury in 2019, Queen was found guilty of possessing dogs with the intent to train and to fight them and convicted on three of nine counts of dogfighting. He was sentenced to serve three, three-year consecutive terms in prison. Queen was immediately taken into custody, but was later released on appeal.
Damning evidence and testimony were presented by Adams County deputies, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Criminal Investigator Kyle Held, and Dr. Robert L. Savant of the Natchez Veterinary Clinic, who aided with the on-site investigation.
Today, September 30, the Supreme Court affirmed Queen’s conviction and he was taken into custody to serve the remainder of his sentence.
In response to the case, the late Sen. Bob Dearing introduced legislation (SB 2932) to increase penalties for dogfighting, which passed and went into effect July 1, 2018. The new law made dogfighting a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. It also made it a felony to manufacture, possess, buy and sell paraphernalia used in dogfighting.
Stanley attended the two-day trial and presented more than 12,000 letters from In Defense of Animals supporters calling for justice for Queen’s victims. She was also instrumental in aiding Sen. Dearing in the passage of his 2018 bill, and awarded the Adams County Sheriff’s Dept. with In Defense of Animals’ Humanitarian Award for their efforts on this and other cases.
Supreme Court Ruling: https://bit.ly/QueenAppeal
In Defense of Animals has served in Mississippi for 29 years working with law enforcement, the judicial system, for the enforcement of protective laws, and fellow advocacies, advocates, and the public to strengthen Mississippi’s animal protection laws and to provide training and resources for the betterment of Mississippi’s animals.
Contact: Doll Stanley, [email protected], (662) 809-4483
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 38-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/Justice4Animals
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