Wilkinsburg man who electrocuted dogs sentenced to up to 6.5 years in prison
A Wilkinsburg man who operated a dog fighting ring from his mother's house and electrocuted dogs that wouldn't fight will spend up to 6½ years in prison, an Allegheny County judge ordered on Wednesday.
Common Pleas Judge Thomas E. Flaherty also sentenced Darryl Bryant, 49, to 11 years of probation — during which he may not own or possess any animals — and to pay an undetermined amount of restitution. A jury in April found Bryant guilty of two counts of animal fighting and one count of possessing an instrument of crime.
“I see dog fighting as also a crime that has reverberations on society and beyond,” Flaherty said. “Those dogs to the very end put their care and trust and confidence in Mr. Bryant, and he let them down.”
Authorities raiding Bryant's home on Bessica Street on Feb. 24, 2012, found 13 pit bull-terrier mixes between 5 months and 5 years old locked in cages. They discovered spatters of dried dog blood on basement walls; equipment used to condition dogs for fighting, including a treadmill and bite sticks; and medical supplies for treating injuries. In medical examinations, a veterinarian identified dozens of scars on the dogs that she determined were not consistent with normal play.
Daisy Balawejder, a coordinator for the Humane Society's Dog Fighting Rescue Coalition, said two of the dogs have been placed with families, but the 11 remaining dogs had to be euthanized.
Bryant declined to speak at his sentencing. Bryant's sister Marva Bryant left the courtroom immediately after Flaherty announced her brother's sentence. She declined to comment afterward. Bryant's defense attorney, Samir Sarna, had asked Flaherty for no more than a year in jail.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Fleming asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence of up to 19 years. Bryant could serve as few as 39 months of the sentence.
Flaherty said he believed the sentence would send a message to deter others from dog fighting.
“Even though they're not human beings, I believe it was cruel,” the judge said of Bryant's treatment of the dogs.
Pittsburgh police Officer Christine Luffey, the lead investigator on the case, said she thought Flaherty's sentence was fair.
“I sleep better at night knowing that the dogs in Pittsburgh are much safer with Darryl Bryant behind bars where he belongs,” Luffey said.
About 10 people showed up outside Flaherty's courtroom with placards condemning dog fighting.
“We don't want to see this in anyone's neighborhood,” said Kim Marasco, whose sign pictured a severely beaten pit bull that read: “If you don't report it, you support it.”
Bryant will receive credit for spending 81 days in the Allegheny County Jail. Flaherty revoked his bond for reportedly threatening a juror at a Downtown McDonald's during his trial.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trailer fire puts Rayburn family out of home
- Ford City delays decision on accountant’s job
- Pirates hope 1st baseman Alvarez starts to regain power stroke
- Starkey: Cervelli’s inspiration
- Rain washes out concert, not comeback for Kittanning bar band
- More witness intimidation charges are filed against Plum teacher
- Supreme Court justices ream EPA for ignoring costs to meet air standards
- Gameday: Pirates at Tigers, June 30, 2015
- 80 percent of drivers found exceeding speed limit in Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park
- Murrysville native Bullock vying for health magazine’s ‘Next Fitness Star’
- St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data