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40 years for "man" who bred pit bulls for fighting

November 23rd, 2004, 11:18 PM
Man gets 40 years in prison

Judge gives stiff sentence after defendant pleads guilty to 41 counts


Staff Writer

A man called the nation's No. 2 breeder of pit bull dogs was sentenced
Monday to 40 years in prison on dogfighting and assault charges in what
state prosecutors say is an unprecedented case.
David Tant, a 57-year-old North Charleston resident, pleaded guilty in
Greenwood County to 41 counts of dogfighting and one count of assault
and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
The sentence by Circuit Judge Wyatt Saunders is believed to be the
heaviest levied against anyone charged with dogfighting in South Carolina,
the state attorney general's office said. It also is one of the
heaviest handed out nationally, said Sandy Christiansen, a dogfighting expert
with the Humane Society of the United States.
Tant can shave 10 years off the sentence if he pays more than $100,000
in restitution for activities associated with the crimes. But he must
serve the bulk of the remaining 30 years, prosecutor Jennifer Evans said
"This sends a message to dogfighters and people who would participate
in this vicious, brutal activity that there are consequences for their
actions," Attorney General Henry McMaster said. "This man deserved a
substantial sentence. He has been doing this for years."
Tant has long been associated with dogfighting, from advertisements in
magazines linked to the sport to breeding animals for use in fighting,
South Carolina authorities say. Christiansen said Tant sold fighting
dogs nationally and internationally.
Tant ran into trouble last spring after a surveyor was shot and injured
by a booby-trapped gun on Tant's property. That led authorities to raid
his land, where they seized 47 pit bulls and other materials as
Tant said little in court Monday and was taken to jail after the guilty
pleas. Family members, hoping to minimize the sentence, had argued that
Tant was a good, churchgoing man. Tant faced more than 200 years in
prison on all the charges.
"We know he's made a mistake. He's a good man. He's not the bad man he
appears through all of this," said Tant's sister, Linda.
Efforts to reach Tant's attorney, Dale Cobb, were unsuccessful Monday.
McMaster said resolution of the case gives state prosecutors experience
and legal precedent to move forward with a crackdown on dogfighting.
Since a state dogfighting task force was formed last spring,
authorities have made criminal cases against at least 28 people. The attorney
general's office has cases pending against at least 22 people. Charges may
be brought against people associated with Tant, prosecutors said. Until
this year, cases against dogfighters in South Carolina have been
The Humane Society of the United States hailed the state's successful
prosecution of Tant as an important message to dogfighters nationwide.
"Mr. Tant has been around a long time in this business," the Humane
Society's Eric Sakach said. "This is a good thing for South Carolina and a
good thing nationally."
McMaster and animal welfare groups say the sport is barbaric and cruel
to animals, while also attracting high-stakes gamblers and drug
About 40,000 people are estimated to participate in dogfighting across
the country. According to a police training video shown recently in
Columbia, dogfighting is a $500 million underground industry nationally.
Tant's guilty plea means more than 40 pit bulls he owned will be put to
The animals have been kept on what Tant called "death row" in a
Charleston County shelter since spring, pending resolution of the trial. But
Charlie Karesh, a shelter official, said the pit bulls are too vicious
to adopt out and should be euthanized. Housing them cost the county more
than $100,000.
"We would be liable, and Charleston County would be liable, if we were
to put one of these animals out to the public and it tore somebody up
or tore up another animal," Karesh said.
Monday's guilty pleas brought an abrupt end to a trial filled with
unusual twists and turns.
Opening arguments were delayed three days last week after Tant fell on
a flight of stairs and was hospitalized. That prompted Cobb to seek a
delay in the trial.
But Saunders ruled Friday that Tant was fit to stand trial after
hearing a report from doctors who had treated him. After Tant left the
hospital, Saunders revoked Tant's bond and ordered him to jail.
Last week's proceedings also brought allegations from state prosecutors
of witness tampering by someone sympathetic to Tant's case.
The trial had been moved from Charleston to Greenwood County because of
pretrial publicity.
Tant can reduce his sentence if he reimburses Charleston County the
more-than $100,000 it has cost to house the dogs since April, and by
reimbursing medical expenses for a man shot on his property.

November 24th, 2004, 08:38 AM
Now thats what Im talking about!!!

We should send this over to the MPP's and notice how it says internationally. That means Canada too.

I hope that jerk rots!!

November 24th, 2004, 08:54 AM
Rotting would be too good for this "good churchgoing man". I think he should be beaten and hung and then beaten with a baseball bat and all the rest of the things done to the dogs to make them vicious. That would be a just punishment. I am glad to see they made an example of this loser. I think we should most definitely pass this on to all MPP's and the village idiot and maybe he will see what happens when you created laws with teeth not a vendetta against a breed. Nice to see somewhere has taken appropriate action to stop a problem they were not looking for a band aid solution like our idiot is trying to get passed.

November 24th, 2004, 08:58 AM
That's more like it :thumbs up What really burns me is something that usually always comes up"He is a good man,a church-going man!!!!!"
What is it with people????Thinking just because you go to church you are a"good man"??? He certainly got what he deserves,he will have 40 years to read the bible,page to page!!!

November 24th, 2004, 11:56 PM
Score :thumbs up

November 25th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Excellent! It makes me sick to hear that he was a "good church going man" as well. If anything, that makes it worse! Personally, I hope someone who doesn't care for his "church-going" ways makes an example of him.

You know, we have an extra bedroom if he needs a place to stay... :evil:

November 25th, 2004, 07:13 PM
This isn't just what America needs..this is what Canada needs..this is what THE WORLD NEEDS.. we need stronger laws...we need special "dog fighting forces" as quoted from the article..and we need good judges that make sound decisions as this judge has done. I think that we should forward this article to the MPPs..but more importantly, I think we need to write to the judge and thank him for making a great difference and setting an excellent example that we all hope the entire country and other countries will soon follow.

I do say, its a great day! :thumbs up

Can someone please write down the judge's email address so that I can thank him? :)

November 25th, 2004, 07:29 PM
:crazy: YIPPY :crazy:

November 27th, 2004, 12:38 PM
I have just emailed the Attorney General for South Carolina congratulating him and his office and constituents and asked for either a snail mail or email addy for Circuit Judge Wyatt Saunders. I will post the reply when recieved.

Cripes, if I had the funds I'd buy a 1 page congratulatory for the people of S.C who voted for the Attorney General!


November 27th, 2004, 05:23 PM
ROTFLMAO @ the two dancing smilies

Ahh..that made my day *wipes away tear* lol

November 30th, 2004, 05:48 PM
Prison is too good for this guy....He should be locked in a room with his 40 vicious pitbulls and let THEM 'euthanise' HIM!

Stories like this one makes me feel so much better about going to law school...maybe someday I'll be able to put a scumbag like him in prison here in Canda!

November 30th, 2004, 05:51 PM
Prison is too good for this guy....He should be locked in a room with his 40 vicious pitbulls and let THEM 'euthanise' HIM!

Stories like this one makes me feel so much better about going to law school...maybe someday I'll be able to put a scumbag like him in prison here in Canda!

Depends on how much he "resists arrest" in the back of my squad car! (Depending on how it goes tomorrow with Metro Police)