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Brookhaven man faces up to 24 years in prison for dog fighting

A Brookhaven man accused of organizing dog fights will appear in Lincoln County Circuit Court for a hearing Sept. 7.

Wyrick A. Thomas, of 1075 Hwy. 550, faces eight counts of animal cruelty.

Thomas, 36, was arrested in November 2015 after Brookhaven police received a tip about alleged dog fighting activity on Hwy. 550. Then-Chief Bobby Bell said when animal control officers followed up on the call, they found evidence that organized dog fights had been taking place.

Eight dogs were seized and taken to local veterinarians to receive care.

“There were eight dogs on the scene with battle scars all over them,” Bell said.

Bell said officers also found at least two dog carcasses in the woods at the residence.

Dog fighting is a felony in each of the 50 states. A fine of up to $5,000, a prison sentence of up to three years or both can be assessed to a person convicted of dog fighting, for each count.

The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which took effect in May 2007, applies to sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in a fighting venture; buying, selling, transporting, delivering or receiving for transportation any animal for participation in a fighting venture; and using mail or any other method of interstate commerce to promote or further an animal fighting venture.

In Mississippi, the law is enforced with a punishment of no less than one to three years prison time and a fine of no more than $5,000 but no less than $1,000. Spectators can be fined from $500 to $5,000, sentenced to up to one year in prison, or both.

If convicted, he will face fines and jail time for each of the eight counts, with total possible fines of $40,000 and 24 years in prison.

Thomas is currently out on a $25,000 bond.

Other cases on the Circuit Court docket for Judge Michael Taylor include:

• Demetra Holloway will appear Sept. 11 for an omnibus hearing on a charge of felony bad check.

• Cordarryl Lamond Bell is set to appear for calling of trial docket, Sept. 19, on charges of first-degree murder.

• Donny Wilson is scheduled to appear for calling of the trial docket Sept. 19, on charges of tax evasion.

• Christopher Michael Lilly is set to appear on charges of felony child abuse for a motion plea on Aug. 14, and for the calling of the trial docket, Sept. 19.

• Mercy Davis will appear for calling of the trial docket on charges of felony bad check, Sept. 19.

• Jamaal Brown will appear for trial for capital murder, Sept. 25.

Other cases on the Circuit Court docket for Judge David Strong include:

• Helen Jean Mercier is set to plead on charges of embezzlement Sept. 11.

• Jeremy Wayne Cupstid is scheduled to stand trial for second-degree murder, Oct. 17.

Wyrick Thomas