Three men accused of abusing pit bulls, training them for blood sport and entering them in illegal dog fights were freed without bail in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday with orders that they stay away from all dogs and show up at future court hearings.
A new state law that takes full effect Jan. 1 prevented prosecutors from asking for bail or electronic monitoring of the suspects, said Assistant Manhattan D.A. Benjamen Roth.
Evans Fuentes, 39, Edward Johnson, 37, and Benito Gittens, 46, were uncuffed and released without bail after they pleaded not guilty to felony conspiracy and other charges related to the alleged dogfights — even though Johnson is a convicted felon with a history of not showing up to court, prosecutors said.
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