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Williamson Found Guilty In Dogfighting Trial

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SANFORD — Gaston Williamson, who was on trial on several charges, has been convicted of felony dogfighting and possession of stolen property.

After a three-day trial, the jury took just two hours to reach the verdict.

In March, neighbors had complained to authorities about numerous pit bulls that were tied up on Williamson's property. Authorities found 153 pit bulls, two pounds of marijuana, dogfighting paraphernalia, and dozens of stolen guns.

The prosecution did not want Williamson to return home even once, for fear he would try to give the dogs away to someone else who would fight them.

Williamson received a 12-month suspended sentence. He cannot own, possess or train pit bulls for 18 months. He has to make living arrangements for his dogs by July 31.

The prosecution asked that the judge make a a part of the sentence that Williamson "not have in his possession or on his property or under his care and control or own any dogs of any kind or any breed or any reason, not take care of anyone else's dogs, not go around any dogs, not be around any dogs on anybody else's property."

When asked his opinion after the trial, Williamson said "I don't agree with it. I mean the dogs is not the problem. It is the county of Lee County trying to make a reputation so their district attorney can be a political expert."

While testifying on Tuesday, Williamson had admitted that dogfighting may have occurred on his property, but he denied any specific knowledge.