James Bush isn't going to jail for dog fighting, but there are stipulations in his plea deal that could put him behind bars if violates the agreement.
The 28-year-old plead guilty to a charge of dog fighting Wednesday morning in Ralls County Associate Circuit Court. Bush was originally charged with four counts of dog fighting, yet the plea deal narrowed down to one. Ralls County Judge David Mobley sentenced him to three years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, but suspended the sentence per the plea bargain which includes five years of probation and parole. Bush is also not allowed to own a dog or live at a residence with a dog. He will also have to do 40 hours of community service at the Northeast Missouri Animal Shelter.
"I had allowed the dog fight to happen," Bush told Mobley.
Bush, who was dressed in boots, jeans and a tan fleece with a black hood for his day in court, said the dog fighting took place at his home along Columbus Trail in Ralls County and said he was approached about having a fight because he would get paid if he allowed it to happen. Well, Bush said he never got paid and a total of four different dog fights took place in his garage. He said he was present for them all.
Bush, who works at Hannibal Crane Service, will also have to pay a $3,000 fine which will be done beginning March 15 with $500 monthly increments until the fine is paid off. There are also court costs and payments that need to be made to probation and parole, but Mobley made it clear that the fine and the court costs must be paid first.