A federal appeals court has upheld the five-year prison sentence of an Eastern Carolina man described by prosecutors as a "legend" in the dogfighting community.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond issued the ruling Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle gave Harry Hargrove the maximum penalty allowed by law, citing the extreme cruelty of his Duplin County dogfighting operation. All but one of the three dozen pit bulls seized at Hargrove's property were in such bad shape they had to be euthanized.
Boyle rejected a defense attorney's suggestion that sentencing guidelines called for a term of zero to six months, saying nobody could defend such a light sentence for what Hargrove did.
The appeals court found no error in Boyle's conclusion.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)