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DOGFIGHTING HOST: Churubusco man handed three year sentence

September 17, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City man will spend three years in jail for staging a dog fight in Whitley County.

Edward E. Smith, Jr., 37, was sentenced to three years at the Whitley County Jail for promoting an animal fight, a Class D felony. He was given a concurrent three-year sentence for purchasing an animal for use in a fight and a concurrent one-year sentence for possession of paraphernalia.

The sentences were the maximum Smith could receive for the crimes, a fact noted by Whitley County Deputy Prosecutor D.J. Sigler.

“He is a poster child for the maximum sentence,” Sigler said. “He has every aggravator known statutorily.”

Those aggravating circumstances, according to Sigler, consisted of prior criminal history, both felony and misdemeanor. Smith also had prior substance-abuse offenses.

Despite this, Sigler said his dealings in this case with Smith went surprisingly well, and that the defendant had a reasoned approach to the situation. But the deputy prosecutor said the offenses still warranted justice.

“This is a heinous offense, this is a disgusting offense,” Sigler said. “The people of this community were and are embarrassed by this. Trucking in a bunch of guys from Chicago for a dog fight.”

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