Habitual Offender Convicted of Dog Fighting
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Nathaniel Urail Cooper was convicted of dog fighting and conspiracy to fight dogs following a two day trial in Rankin County Circuit Court. Following Cooper’s conviction Judge William Chapman sentenced Cooper to serve eight years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
On January 11, 2014, the Rankin County Sheriff’s responded to a call stating that individuals were fighting dogs at a residence on Bee Summers Road. When law enforcement arrived at Cooper’s residence, located at 141 Bee Summers Road, they heard several dogs barking and observed at least two dogs they believed to be pit bulls. As officers approached the residence numerous individuals began running from the back yard of the home into a nearby wooded area. The officers observed that many of the people fleeing from the area had dogs in their possession.
Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the property. During the search of the residence officers located at the rear of the property a fighting ring used to fight dogs. As officers examined the ring they noticed that the floor of the ring was carpeted and that the carpet was covered in blood. Officers located a scale used to weight the dogs prior to a fight and also found numerous items they believed were used to train dogs for the purpose of fighting.
Officers were able to get statements from Kyre Cooper and Domingo Deering who both stated that Nathaniel Cooper was charging $20.00 admission for the fight. Deering also informed police that he had been contacted earlier in the day by Nathaniel and was asked to bring his dog for the purpose of entering it in the dog fight.
Officers seized three pit bulls that night and then returned two days later and seized a fourth dog. All four dogs had been trained for the purpose of fighting and one of the seized dogs had scars it had received from previous dog fights.
Guest stated, “Cooper was attempting to make money by training dogs and promoting fights in which animals were injured, maimed and in some cases killed. I cannot begin to image what would cause a person to take an innocent puppy and train it to attack and kill other dogs for the purpose of entertainment.”
Guest added, “I want to thank Sheriff Bailey and the members of the Rankin County Department for the outstanding job they did in this case. Their hard work resulted in numerous arrests and convictions of individuals that were involved in fighting dogs. Their work also allowed us to convict Cooper who was the promoter and ring leader of a dog fighting ring.”
Nathaniel Cooper was charged and convicted as a habitual offender. Cooper has been previously convicted on three prior occasions of possession of cocaine.
District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties. For more information regarding the District Attorney’s office, please visit .
Name: Nathaniel Urail Cooper
Address: 141 Bee Summers Road, Lena
Date of Birth: January 8, 1985