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The owner of CJ’s Garage, who was charged with manslaughter last year after pit bulls he owned killed a Pine Bluff man, has pleaded guilty and will be formally sentenced in June.

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John Chester Smith, 63, entered a plea April 1 to the Class C felony manslaughter charge that carries a sentence of three to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The plea negotiation filed in the 11th Judicial District 2nd Division Circuit Court lists a recommended sentence of three years.

Smith was arrested in April 2015 in the March 21, 2015, death of De’Trick Omar Johnson, 36. Johnson was mauled by several pit bull terriers that escaped from CJ’s Garage at 300 Thomas Road in Jefferson County.

Smith, who was not present during the attack, had been warned previously about his dogs and their aggressive behavior, Jefferson County sheriff’s office authorities had said.

Smith’s sentencing is set for 9:30 a.m. June 7 in Pine Bluff.

Print Headline: Dog owner guilty in fatal mauling

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