12 People Accused of Cockfighting Appear in Ardmore Courtoom

A morning hearing in Carter County focused on 12 individuals who were accused of cockfighting. The individuals were arrested during a cockfighting bust that happened last June 19.

Carter County District Attorney Melissa Handke said, “The evidence consisted of items that are needed for a cockfight to occur, like knives, gaffs — they are things tied to the rooster. There were 55 roosters that were seized; some of them had to be put down, and some were bleeding and not in good shape.”

The 12 people are being charged with being a spectator at a cockfight, which counts as a misdemeanor, or facilitating or owning a bird which is a felony.

Attorney Billy Coyle from Oklahoma City represents most of the defendants. “Making cockfighting illegal, what the legislature has done, is unconstitutional. We look forward to standing and having our day in court to protect the rural and farmers of Oklahoma from this big large government intrusion,” he said.

Ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for August 31, the defendants were all freed on a personal recognizance bond.