Stoddard County man pleads guilty to dogfighting charges

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Jamie D. Sifford

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. — A Stoddard County man pleaded guilty to three felony counts of dogfighting Wednesday, and the state dropped 21 of the original felony charges he faced.

Jamie D. Sifford, 30, of Dudley, Mo., received a sentence of three years in prison for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

In addition, Sifford was sentenced to six years for a probation revocation that Circuit Judge Stephen Sharp ruled on July 7. The probation revocation came about as a result of the string of dogfighting and drug possession charges filed against him in October.

Stoddard County and Humane Society of Missouri investigators raided Sifford's Dudley property Oct. 20 and found items they claimed indicated that dogfighting occurred on the farm.

Sifford was on probation for drug charges stemming from a 2006 guilty plea at the time of the search.

Sharp heard more than four and a half hours of testimony July 7 before deciding a preponderance of the evidence showed Sifford had violated his probation.

An investigator with the Humane Society testified at that hearing, describing the first aid supplies, treadmill and carpeted horse stall officers found when they searched the residence.

The stall, the investigator said, was used as the "ring" where dogfights were held.

Jasper N. Edmundson, Sifford's attorney, argued that all of the items seized by investigators had legitimate uses, and that Sifford had been using them to prepare his pit bull dogs for shows.

The stall was used for birthing purposes, and one of the female dogs had just had puppies, Sifford said.

335-6611, extension 245

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