Hewitt Grant II, a man from Bartow, Florida, violated an order by Judge Wayne Durden that he could no longer own dogs and was sentenced to 20 years in jail for 84 counts of animal cruelty related to dog fighting.
The sentence comes after he was found guilty of 80 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty back in 2007; again related to dog fighting.
He was sentenced 364 days in prison, however, his lawyers appealed regarding an illegal search of Grant’s property and the criminal charges against him were dropped off. Although the offenses against him had been dismissed, he had been ordered not to ever own dogs again.
A court ruling he happily disobeyed. Judge Durden said that Grant’s violation of the court ruling is what brought him to 20 years sentence.
“The defendant went out of his way to egregiously break the injunction by his conduct in this case.” Durden said. He then described Grant’s cruelty towards helpless animals as ‘reprehensible’; basing on the evidences of what he observed on the dogs in this case; the scars on their heads, faces and bodies.
Durden heard testimonies from Grant together with a few family members and church leaders before he sentenced him. Grant begged for leniency and said he wanted to rebuild his family, specifically his two kids. Pastor Michael Littlejohn, among the ministers from Grant’s church testified on his behalf.
The prosecution presented numerous witnesses on the hearing. Individuals from animal control and the local SPCA who raided Grant’s property stated the things they discovered and the way it made them feel as the raid happened.
Donna Seiler, field supervisor with the sheriff’s office stated; ”The name Hewitt Grant is nothing but terrible remembrances I’d wish to leave behind.” Assistant State Attorney Carson Bassett mentioned that Grant had been tormenting these dogs for his own pleasure.
“The dogs didn’t wish for this and didn’t placed themselves in this case,”; Bassett said prior to the sentence was passed down.