UK & World News

  • 17 July 2014, 20:52

Romanian Princess Ran US Cockfighting Ring

A Romanian princess has admitted running an illegal gambling operation after she was found to be hosting cockfighting derbies in rural Oregon.

Irina Walker, 61, pleaded guilty to the charge along with her husband, former sheriff's deputy John Walker, 68, on Wednesday.

Prosecutors agreed to drop other counts relating to animal fighting and animal welfare as part of a plea deal.

The pair face a sentence of probation, along with the seizure of $200,000 (£117,000) in assets.

The Walkers hosted at least 10 of the derbies in a barn at their ranch in Irrigon, eastern Oregon, before their arrest, said authorities.

Each event usually attracted more than 100 people, with attendees charged a $20 entrance fee.

The roosters were equipped with knives and forced to fight one another to the death.

The couple also sold food and alcohol on the premises.

The Oregonian newspaper reports that Irina Walker initially provided the food, though spectators found it to be unacceptable.

The couple then brought in a woman to cook Mexican food.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 22. 

Walker - fifth in line to the throne of the Romanian royal family - is the third daughter of the nation's last king, Michael I.

He was forced to abdicate in 1947 by the communist-controlled government, which abolished the monarchy.

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