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Ash v. State
Arkansas Supreme Court
290 Ark. 278, 718 S.W.2d 930 (1986)
Winifred Hook (defendant) and her husband, Darryl Hook, raised several pit bulls for dogfighting while living in California. When California passed a law prohibiting dogfighting, the Hooks moved to Arkansas under the false belief that dogfighting was legal in the state. The Hooks purchased a home and began installing a pit in the garage that was specifically designed for dogfighting. In May 1985, law-enforcement officers obtained a search warrant to investigate the Hooks’ home after receiving allegations that they were hosting dogfights. The officers entered the Hooks’ property and found 15 spectators watching an active dogfight. The officers arrested the spectators, all of whom were convicted of witnessing a dogfight and fined $3,000. Winifred had not been home when the officers executed the search. However, Winifred was arrested when she arrived home about an hour after the raid. The State of Arkansas (plaintiff) charged Winifred with promoting dogfighting in violation of Act 862 of 1981. Winifred argued that the prosecution’s evidence could not support a conviction because she had not been present for the dogfight and therefore could not have promoted the fight. At the trial, Winifred testified that she was aware of the pit and that she knew people would often show up at the Hooks’ home but that she did not believe any dogfighting had occurred. However, Winifred did admit that her husband had engaged in dogfighting with their pit bulls and that she and her son helped to care for the family’s dogs. The jury was charged with determining whether Winifred was guilty of promoting dogfighting. The trial court instructed the jury to determine whether Winifred was a credible witness and to determine whether, based on the jury’s own observations and personal experiences, the evidence supported the notion that Winifred had promoted dogfighting. The jury found Winifred guilty. Winifred was fined $5,000. The matter was appealed. The Supreme Court of Arkansas reviewed the case to determine whether the evidence introduced could lead a reasonable jury to find that Winifred had promoted dogfighting despite not being present at the dogfight that led to her arrest.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)
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