Dogfighting Ring Suspects in Court - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Stoddard County, MO

Dogfighting Ring Suspects in Court

Dogfighting Ring Suspects in Court
By: CJ Cassidy

STODDARD COUNTY, Mo. - New details on the case of an alleged dog fighting operation in Stoddard County.

You'll remember Heartland News went along as investigators broke up the ring last month.

They rescued 25 pit bulls from a home in Dudley.

Three suspects made their first appearance in court Thursday.

Jamie Sifford, 29 of Dudley, Jessey Short, 30, of Cape Girardeau, and Curtis Pickering, 28, of South Fulton, Tennessee kept their heads down as they walked from the Stoddard County Jail to court and back. All three face felong dogfighting charges.

Short tried to hide his face from the news camera, but his attorney, John Schneider, has plenty to say.

"My client maintains his innocence, and indicates he wasn't aware of dog fighting," Schneider said.

In fact, Short and Sifford's attorneys both say they knew nothing about a video tape showing dogfighting, that the prosecutor brought up in court.

It's a video tape the Stoddard County Sheriff said investigators found when they searched Sifford's home and that's not all.

Sheriff Carl Hefner said crews rescued at least one of the dogs seen fighting in that video.

Sifford's attorney chose not to comment, but Short's lawyer said his client's dogs were not there during the bust.

"He says he loves dogs," Schneider said. " In fact he was involved with the canine unit at the Scott County Sheriff's Department."

The Commander of the Scott County Search Team said Short trained with his canine as a volunteer, and his arrest left him just as shocked as anyone else.

The suspects' family members would not comment.

Jamie Sifford and Jessey Short have hearings later this month.  The judge granted Curtis Pickering's request for a new judge.

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