4 want to plead guilty in dog fighting probe

Brad Fox with Alachua Humane Society carries one of the dogs off the property.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Four of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty.

Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; and DeMontt Allen of Houston, Texas, filed court papers late last week and early this week saying they want to change their pleas to guilty.

Another defendant, Irkis Forrest of Theodore, Ala., notified the court earlier that he wants to plead guilty to one count.

The defendants were arrested last year on charges accusing them of participating in or providing pit bulls for high-stakes fights in east Alabama.

According to the indictment, Watford supplied a dog for a dog fight in December 2011 in Waverly and got stopped by police as he was leaving. Officers observed an injured dog in his vehicle, the indictment said. Watford is also accused of attending a fight at a Macon County bar in February 2012.

Demont Allen is accused by authorities of taking a dog to a fight in Waverly in August 2011 and then being stopped by police with $35,000 he won at the fight.

Edwards is accused of attending the dog fight in Waverly in December 2011 and another in Macon County in March 2013. Since being indicted in the dog fighting case, he has been indicted in New York on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition. He is accused of selling four handguns and ammunition to undercover officers. At the time, he was forbidden to possess a gun because he pleaded guilty to a gun charge in Monroe County, New York, in 1994.

Court papers filed by his attorney say he is trying to get the New York case moved to Montgomery so that he can settle it at the same time.

Another defendant, Carlton Tippens of Riverdale, Ga., is seeking to enter a pre-trial diversion program. Most of the remaining defendants are scheduled for trial May 8.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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