INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – After a dog fighting ring bust in the Greater Lansing area in August, the question of where the case and the dogs involved stand still lingers.
Here’s a quick recap:
In August, 53 dogs were seized in connection with a dog-fighting ring in Ingham and Eaton counties after a series of police raids.
Since then, the Ingham County Animal Control took ownership of eleven dogs and of those dogs, six were euthanized.
Ingham County Animal Control Director, John Dinon, says animal control originally had gained ownership of 10 dogs but after Tuesday’s court hearing, part of Synquiss Antes’ plea agreement was to give ownership of the last dog to Ingham County Animal Control.
But now the question is what happens next?
Synquiss Antes, one of the two people charged in connection with a dog-fighting ring in the Lansing area pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of cruelty and abandonment of as many as three dogs.
If convicted, Antes could face up to one year in jail which is a sentence Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Chris Martin, says would be suitable.
“This was a plea agreement that was reached by all sides we negotiated this and we believe that this a just outcome for Miss Antes in this case,” said Martin.
Corey Henry, Antes’ father and the second person charged in this case also appeared in court Tuesday.
Henry waived his preliminary exam and now will move to circuit court on 15 counts.
“He’ll have the option to either have a trial or to plead guilty it will be up to him, his attorneys and I suppose negotiations will continue between our office and him,” Martin stated.
However, the question surrounding this case now is what’s the status of the remaining dogs involved?
Ingham County Animal Control Director, John Dinon, says it depends on the conditions under which the ownership is granted to animal control.
“We may get the dogs without any restrictions, we may get an order from the judge to euthanize the dogs if he feels they’re a danger to society or we may get them surrendered to us by the owners which again would have to be approved by a judge,” said Dinon.
Dinon says warrant requests have been sent in and the warrants should be issued soon which will then allow the Ingham County Animal Control to move forward with forfeiture and get the remaining dogs out of legal limbo.
6 News also reached out to the “Coalition to Save the Lansing Michigan Pit Bull’s” for reaction to the plea Tuesday.
Christy Lawrence, a volunteer sent this statement:
“Needless to say, it was very disheartening to hear the news that one of the defendants arrested in the dog fighting raid entered into a plea agreement. The defendant was originally charged with 9 counts of dog fighting (each count could carry a possible 4 year sentence with a fine) and ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge (not sure what this charge actually was). From what I understand thus far, all 9 counts of dog fighting were dropped against this one defendant. I was hoping that the prosecutor’s office would set a precedent here in Ingham County that this type of criminal activity and animal abuse would not be tolerated. There was a third defendant that had all charges dropped. What a sad state of affairs here in Ingham County. Although, now, two defendants have escaped dog fighting charges, the innocent victims, the dogs seized, continue to suffer. On that note, we have yet to find out the exact number of dogs that are still alive at the shelter. As of today, the shelter director and the Ingham County law and courts committee members refuse to disclose the “alleged” individual(s) that have been secured to assess the remaining dogs. The prosecutor’s office sent a clear statement yesterday that there will be no justice in Ingham County. Even more disheartening is the fact that the court could have rejected this plea which amounted to a slap on the hand. There is a big underlying problem and we intend to find out what that problem is.”
Antes is scheduled for sentencing on November 27th and it’s yet to be determined when her father, Corey Henry will appear in court next.
This is a developing story.