EL CAJON (CNS) - A Ramona man pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony charges for raising pit bulls at his home for dog fighting.
Raul Leyva, 35, pleaded guilty to five counts of owning, training or possessing a dog for dog-fighting purposes on the day his case was to go to trial at the El Cajon Courthouse.
The father of two faces anywhere from probation to 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 23, attorneys said.
Judge Allan Preckel indicated that he may "strike" Leyva's 1996 robbery conviction at the time of sentencing, attorneys said.
Leyva's lawyer, Vikas Bajaj, said he had experts lined up and had been prepared to go to trial today, but his client decided to plead guilty to avoid a potentially harsher sentence.
The county Department of Animal Services raided Leyva's home in April 2008, seizing a 16-by-16-foot piece of carpeting stained with dog blood.
Eric Sakach of the Humane Society of the United States testified at an earlier hearing that carpeting is used as a floor in dog fighting to give the dogs traction while they're fighting.
Authorities also found a document during the search of Leyva's home that showed a training regimen for dogs for being prepared for fights, vitamins and injuries to 10 pit bulls.
All of the dogs were seized and later euthanized.
Defense witness Richard Stratton, an author of four books about pit bulls, previously testified that none of the evidence against Leyva on its own showed that he was raising the dogs for fighting.
Active Valor, the combat veteran non-profit organization in San Diego, will host its fifth Valor Adventures of the year in Bonsall on Sunday at Rawhide Ranch.
A 48-year-old woman was struck by a car and fatally injured Friday night near San Diego State University.
Mexico's national soccer team on Friday night won its game against Chile at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium in Mission Valley.
A weak ridge of high pressure brought a break in the wet weather to San Diego under partly to mostly sunny skies on Friday. Onshore flow and a deepening marine layer will bring low clouds back into the forecast, west of the mountains, Friday night through Saturday morning.
In an effort to rally voters, Senator Bernie Sanders on Friday returned to San Diego for the first time since announcing another bid for the White House and held a rally at the Waterfront Park.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency wrongly released to a contractor the personal information of 2.3 million survivors of devastating 2017 hurricanes and wildfires, potentially exposing the victims to identity fraud and theft, a government watchdog reported Friday.
A convicted sex offender's potential release from a state hospital and subsequent placement in Jacumba Hot Springs drew a substantial crowd to a downtown San Diego courtroom on Friday, which included the inmate's victims and others opposing his placement in eastern San Diego County.