6 indicted in Tallapoosa Co. dog-fighting case - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

6 indicted in Tallapoosa Co. dog-fighting case

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Top (L to R) - Eric Calhoun,  Jennifer Kelly, Justin Calhoun; Bottom (L to R) -  Decarlos Holley, Sonya Benson, Rodrick Sweetwyne Top (L to R) - Eric Calhoun, Jennifer Kelly, Justin Calhoun; Bottom (L to R) - Decarlos Holley, Sonya Benson, Rodrick Sweetwyne
NEW SITE, AL (WSFA) -

A Tallapoosa County grand jury indicted 6 suspects, four men and two women, in a dog-fighting investigation that started two years ago.

"Some of them have extensive criminal histories so that will dictate what kind of jail sentences they receive if they are convicted,' said New Site Police Chief John McKlevey.

In all, 55 dogs were rescued at three locations in Tallapoosa County. Most of the animals were pit bulls. A vacant home on Highway 22 East was one of the three sites. Three of the 55 dogs had to be put down because they were in terrible shape. One other dog died from his injuries. The remaining 51 are being rehabilitated at an undisclosed location, according to McKelvey.

The six suspects face 161 indictments as a group. The sister of suspect Decarlos Holley told WSFA 12 News her brother had nothing to do with any dog-fighting operation. The woman declined to give her name but lives next door to where Holley allegedly conducted many of the dog fights. 

"We have information that anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 bets were placed on each dog. This was a big business," said McKelvey.

Court records show the suspects have attorneys and they remain in the Tallapoosa County Jail.

The chief says the suspects are: Decarlos Holley, Erick Calhoun, Roderick Sweetwyne, Justin Calhoun, Jennifer Kelley and Sonja Benson. Benson was the last suspect to be arrested. Brothers Justin and Erick Calhoun each have bonds totaling $225,000. Some of the other suspects have had their probations revoked because of previous drug-related convictions. The suspects had their first court appearance this week. A trial date has not been set.

Chief McKelvey believes while the investigation for this particular dog-fighting case may be over,  he didn't rule out additional arrests down the road connected to this case or any other dog-fighting investigation.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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