by: Greg Suskin Updated:
ROCK HILL, S.C. - A graphic video clip on a cellphone led Rock Hill police to issue warrants for two brothers on dog fighting charges.
Marcus Brice is in jail charged with animal fighting. His brother Michael Brice is still sought by police.
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Police got a warrant to search Michael Brice's cellphone on an unrelated case.
They found the video and saw what appeared to be a dog fight between two pit bulls from December 2013.
"The dogs were just tearing each other apart. It was graphic," said Rock hill police spokesman Mark Bollinger.
The video apparently shows the dogs locked in battle with obvious injuries and the sound of voices urging the fight on.
The detective watching the video realized a lot of things he was seeing looked familiar.
"He looked at it a couple times and he realized he knew both Brices and also recognized the house in the background," Bollinger said.
Channel 9 went to the house on Hickory Lane Wednesday and it was boarded up and vacant.
The owner said that the previous tenants never paid rent and were evicted and the Brice brothers weren't even supposed to be living there.
Beside the home, there were two small dog houses with food and water bowls. Down a wooded path behind the house, there were half a dozen more dog houses with chains wrapped around trees.
The chains ran along the ground where there were fresh dog prints and dozens of empty 50-pound bags of food tossed into the woods.
Brian Cathcart is a cousin of the Brice brothers. He told Channel 9 they're not dog fighters.
"He was breeding dogs and selling them trying to make some money. That's all it was," Cathcart said.
Channel 9 asked Cathcart about part of the cellphone video which police said shows one of the brothers hitting the dog with a board to get it to keep fighting.
If he was beating on a dog, it was to break them up, not to get them to fight," Cathcart said. "His dog is dog-aggressive, that's it."
Marcus Brice is still in jail on a $12,000 bond. Animal control took the dogs Monday after the owner of the house found them and called authorities.
Neighbors said they had not heard dog fighting at the house on Hickory Lane and weren't even sure who had lived there last.
Animal Control Director Steve Stuber said they seized three dogs from the house this week. Two have already been euthanized due to aggression.
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