A York man was sentenced to 13 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to eight felonies, including four counts of dog fighting, according to court records and prosecutors.
Frankie Lee Starnes Jr., 34, was charged in June 2016, when deputies responding to his home on Prairie Hill Road in York found 13 pit bulls, including several that were chained to vehicle axles.
Some of the dogs had wounds consistent with dog fighting, police said when Starnes was arrested. Many of the dogs required immediate care from veterinarians, prosecutors said.
“We’re exceedingly pleased with the sentence passed down in this case,” said Megan Fuller, the 16th Circuit assistant solicitor who prosecuted Starnes. “The dogs involved suffered horribly at the hands of Mr. Starnes, but the excellent job performed by law enforcement ensured this case saw justice.”
Starnes, whom prosecutors said in court has a previous conviction for cockfighting, pleaded guilty under what is called an Alford plea – where he accepts the punishment of a guilty plea and that a jury would likely convict him if the case went to trial – without admitting guilt.
He was convicted of four counts of dog fighting and four counts of ill treatment of animals, records show.
The dogs were chained up and did not have proper shelter, police and prosecutors said.