A Fluvanna County man accused of dog fighting won't have to stay behind bars until his trial. Brenton Mathis was granted $10,000 bail Monday after he pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. The case is now headed to trial.
On January 10, Fluvanna County police took 10 pit bulls from his mother's home in Palmyra. Mathis was arrested on January 22. He is facing eight felony dog fighting charges, 10 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and one felony firearms charge. He is also facing a civil suit from the state.
After spending three months in jail Mathis was granted bail, but his mother, Trudy Bradley, says he's still being treated unfairly. She says she is happy he is allowed to go home but says the family has struggled ever since he was arrested.
“He meant something and they're acting like he doesn't. They just put him in jail and he's been sitting in jail for three months doing nothing," she stated.
Bradley says the dogs are family pets, and the charges against her son are misplaced. “We miss every dog; every dog has a name and a place in our family. Scruffy, Low Boy, all of them, we just love them. I mean we even have a dog named Sweet Potato Pie - give me a break, you gonna fight a Sweet Potato Pie?" she stated.
Just a few days before his arrest, Mathis showed the property to NBC29, telling us then that stereotypes are behind the accusations. “I’m trying to figure out why they took the animals and why I didn’t have a chance to explain to them and show them these animals," he said.
As part of his bail agreement, Mathis is not allowed to return to his mother's house, he has to stay at his own home.
After the hearing Monday, Mathis’ attorney Terry Hughes said she's happy this case is headed to trial, “clearly these charges are misplaced, he has not been fighting dogs or been harmful to dogs in any way."
As for Mathis’s mother, she says she wants answers. “Who started this? And who would say this? And who would do this to us? I’d like to know and I’m not going to be done until I do know,” she stated.
Mathis is due back in court on May 8 for a pre-trial hearing. His trial is set for August 8 at the Fluvanna County Courthouse.
Fluvanna Man Pleads Not Guilty to Dog Fighting ChargesMore>>
Sean Cudahy joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2014. Full Story
Sean Cudahy joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2014. Sean returns to Charlottesville after four years at American University in Washington, D.C., but central Virginia is his home. He grew up in Albemarle County, graduating from Albemarle High School in 2010. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story
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