NW pair accused of dog fighting acquitted
Explorer file photo, Defense attorneys argued that the cause of scars on pit bulls seized at the Picture Rocks kennel couldn't necessarily be attributed to dog fighting. In the end, a judge agreed, saying that prosecutors' evidence against Mahlon Patrick and Emily Dennis didn't conclusively link the pair with dog fighting operations.

A Pima County Superior Court judge yesterday acquitted two people accused of dog fighting.

After nearly six days of testimony, Judge John Leonardo agreed with defense attorneys that the prosecutor failed to prove that Emily Dennis and Mahlon Patrick knowingly sold pit bulls that were used in illegal fights.

Dennis and Patrick, both 64, ran a kennel on West Orange Grove Road, where for nearly three decades they bred and sold pit bulls. In February, Pima County Sheriff’s investigators raided the compound and seized 110 dogs.

Most of the animals have since been euthanized.

“That kennel had been there for about 30 years without an problems,” Dennis’s attorney Thomas Higgins told The Explorer on Friday, Nov. 21.

Higgins said the evidence against his client, much of which amounted to a collection of e-mails between the defendants, Dennis and Patrick, and prospective buyers, could not connect the pair with dog fighting operations.

“They have to show that beyond a reasonable doubt,” Higgins said. “That just didn’t happen.”

See the full story in next week’s Explorer.

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