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Trial delves into dogfighting underworld

December 4, 2010

TAMPA — A man squeezes his legs around a panting pit bull and growls a command.

“Come on,” he says.

The dog eyes a second pit bull — this one scar-faced, a proven fighting champion — and then lunges.

The squeals last for seconds on a carpet already dotted with brown droplet stains. The champion is yanked from the room, and the panting dog is released to track him.

“Go get him, son.”

Prosecutors say the man in the video is Maurice F. Bayless, 49.

He’s on trial this week in Hillsborough County on felony charges of baiting, breeding, owning and promoting animals for fighting…


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