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8 Alleged Dolton Dogfighting Fans Make First Markham Court Appearance

The eight men charged with attending a dogfight in a Dolton warehouse went before a Cook County judge Tuesday.

The eight men scooped up in a raid on a dogfight at a Dolton warehouse appeared in court together Tuesday afternoon with one asking the judge to let him live among the animals on his parents' farm.

Prosecutor Jack Costello refused to agree with the attorney for Anthony Fugate, 27, when she asked that her client be allowed to move back in with his parents on their Beecher farm.

The attorney, Michelle Truesdale, told Judge Thomas J. Carroll that Fugate suffers from heart trouble and it is important he be permitted to return to his parents' farm.

Costello argued that allowing an alleged animal abuser to reside among the horses and cats on the farm was akin to letting a man up on a weapons charge hang around his parents' gun shop, or an alleged sex offender stay in a daycare.

But Judge Carroll consented to Fugate heading back to the farm, on the condition he have absolutely no physical contact with any of the animals.

Fugate and the other seven men all face a felony charge of attending or patronizing a dog fight. They were arrested Dec. 6 when Cook County Sheriff's deputies acting on a tip uncovered a dogfight in a 142nd Street warehouse, police said.

Six of the eight men arrested that night managed to escape into the warehouse rafters before they were apprehended, police said. During Tuesday's hearing, Costello said Fugate—despite his supposed heart problems—was one of the men captured after a "foot chase."

South Suburban Humane Society investigators rescued seven dogs from the scene. They are now recovering at the Chicago Heights facility.

Seven of the eight men are free on bond. The one in custody, Willie McCray, 26, of Calumet City, remains in the Cook County jail where he is also being held on a warrant for attempted murder.

Cook County State's Attorney spokesman Andy Conklin said McCray's attempted murder warrant stems from a case in Harvey. He declined to comment further on the matter, explaining that McCray has yet to be formally charged and the investigation by the Harvey Police Department remains open.

Baba Wawa December 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Yeah, I'm really sure you're going to remember him come election time. First, make sure he's a full circuit judge because those are the judges you vote on for retention. If he's an associate judge, you'll never be able to vote for him.
Baba Wawa December 13, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Lori, chill. It's the first court appearance, not the trial. Nobody got off. Nobody was found not guilty.
Lori Bullio December 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Baba--Did you read the article? Juge Carroll agreed with Fugate's attorney citing due to Fugate's heart condition that it would be best to send Fugate back to his parent's farm to live among the animals!! Nice decision--NOT!!! This is not the first case and certainly (unfortunately) not the last dog fighting case where these criminals give some poor me, or my health issues...and the judge agrees and sends them on their way. I am so sick of these precious animals being used for blood money and these low lifes get off with fines and probation!! Enough with the excuses!! These poor dogs & other animals don't have a choice in the matter!! So WE THE PEOPLE need to be their voice!!!!
Sadb December 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM
We the people need to take over our streets and towns, legal or not if the law cant do it then the American people should, matbe the movie Death Wish is the way to go, abuse women, children, animals and your guilty, now a days your caught on cam doing a crime and they plead not guilty, are we stupid or what, Do the Crime Do the Time!!!
linda December 14, 2012 at 02:48 AM
shame on that judge for letting that go,he must be a closet dog fighter

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