Dozens of charges withdrawn in alleged Tilbury dog fighting case
Dozens of charges have been withdrawn in the alleged Tilbury dog fighting case.
In a Chatham courtroom on Thursday, the Crown dropped all charges against John Robert Jr. and his mother Kim Robert.
The wide range of criminal charges covered everything from causing cruelty to an animal, weapons offences and drug charges.
Defence lawyer Ken Marley says "it would have been difficult to connect them to the charges in any event.”
In October of 2015, a joint investigation between the Chatham-Kent police and the Ontario SPCA resulted in the execution of multiple search warrants at an address on Morris Line.
The investigation resulted in six people being arrested and hundreds of charges laid under the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and Dog Owner’s Liability Act.
Four people are still facing animal cruelty charges, including causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal and encouraging, aiding or assisting in the fighting or baiting of animals. They are John Robert Senior, Michel Gagnon, Robert Tomlin and Candace Johnson.
Ken Marley represents Robert and Gagnon.
Lawyer Frank Retar represents Tomlin and Johnson. He declined to comment for CTV News Thursday outside of court.
Their case is now set for a preliminary "discovery" hearing, set for July 18.
Marley expects a trial will be held late this year or early in 2018.
Meanwhile, more than 21 "pit-bull like" dogs are still in the care of the OSPCA. Marley says a meeting will be held later today to determine "the mechanics" of how that hearing will be conducted.
The Crown attorney declined to comment.