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LaGrange man found guilty of dog fighting

A LaGrange man has been found guilty on charges of dogfighting stemming from a multi-jurisdictional investigation in February 2019.

According to a news release from Herb Cranford, district attorney in the Coweta Judicial Circuit, Demetris Deshan Kennedy, 32, of LaGrange, was convicted by a Troup County jury on three counts of dogfighting, three counts of possession of firearm by a convicted felon, one count of theft by receiving stolen firearm and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

At the trial, evidence showed the charges were from several months of investigating Kennedy, which culminated in the execution of a search warrant on Feb. 22, 2019, at 123 Bonaventure Drive in LaGrange.

Although Kennedy was not at the house at the time of the search, the news release said investigators seized three firearms, including a .9mm Glock pistol, a .223-caliber Anderson Arms AM-15 and a stolen .40 caliber Kel-Tec Sub0-2000. Additionally, body armor, ammunition and about 11 ounces of marijuana were found.

In the backyard of the residence, investigators found five pit bull-style dogs, each chained to the ground with logging chains. In a shed, dogfighting training paraphernalia, including a homemade treadmill and a spring pole, were found.

Three of the dogs had relatively fresh wounds consistent with dogfighting, according to the news release. Also, the logging chains that tethered the dogs to the ground weighed more than 10 pounds.

The news release said Assistant District Attorney Jack Winne prosecuted the case. Also, Task Force Agent Adam Blane, of the G.B.I. West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office and LaGrange Police Department, and LPD investigator Clint Stephens, conducted the investigation.

“The efforts of these investigators and ADA Winne to stop this animal abuser and drug dealer make LaGrange a safer community for everyone, including animals,” Cranford said in a news release. “Dogs should be treated with love as pets, not as gladiators that fight to the death. As other prosecutions in our community have shown, dealing drugs while possessing firearms ultimately ends with violence. We are thankful the jury held this defendant accountable for his dangerous drug dealing and his abuse of dogs.”

The news release said Kennedy had two prior felony convictions in Troup County Superior Court involving drug distribution, including a 2009 conviction for sale of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and a 2007 conviction for sale of marijuana.

Kennedy was taken into custody after he was convicted. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 30.