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Romanian princess pleads in cockfighting case



By STEVEN DUBOIS

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Romanian princess Irina Walker pleaded guilty Wednesday to operating an illegal gambling business in connection with a cockfighting enterprise in rural Oregon.

Walker and her husband, John, accepted plea deals in which the government dismissed charges of animal fighting and conspiracy to violate the animal welfare act. Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 22. The government recommends a sentence of probation for both Walkers, along with the forfeiture of $200,000.

Irina Walker, 61, is the third daughter of former Romanian King Michael I, who was forced to abdicate by communists in 1947.

She admitted to U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman that she profited from a gambling venture in which roosters had knives attached to their legs and fought to the death.

"I provided food and beverage, your honor, and the location," she said. She declined to speak with reporters.

The Walkers were arrested last summer after authorities said they staged at least 10 cockfighting derbies in a barn at their ranch in Irrigon, 175 miles east of Portland and just south of Washington state.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer said the Walkers charged spectators $20 to enter and the crowds generally exceeded 100 people. The couple also made money from the sale of alcohol.

Irina Walker initially made food for the spectators, Peifer said. But when her dishes proved unpopular, John Walker brought on a woman to make crowd-pleasing tacos and burritos.

Peifer said the people who brought roosters to fight paid $1,000 to enter, and the pool ranged from $10,000 to $18,000. The person whose roosters won the most fights took home the money, except for the 10 percent takeout kept by the referees.

More than a dozen other people were indicted in the case. Charges against the woman who made the Mexican food were later dropped and two defendants remain fugitives: Ruben Saltos Godina, known as Chino; and Antonio Dominguez Robles, known as Tono.

Everyone else pleaded guilty, either in Oregon or Washington state.

Irina Walker moved to the U.S. from Switzerland in the early 1980s with her former-husband John Kreuger, her daughter, Angelica Kreuger, told the AP last year. Kreuger said her mother rode horses, gardened, studied the Bible and raised two children while living for many years in Coos County in southwest Oregon.

The princess later divorced her husband and married John Walker, a family friend and neighbor. The couple moved to sparsely populated Irrigon, living in a triple-wide manufactured home.

John Walker, 68, was a sheriff's deputy in Coos County from 1998 to 2003. He told Judge Mosman that an experienced cockfighting referee, Mario Perez, came to him, seeking a place to hold derbies. The fights were first held outdoors until Walker put up a barn-like structure with a metal roof.

"I had built the barn to hold hay," he told the judge.

Walker, who owned many guns, handled security. He also arranged for a company to supply portable toilets.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
bigred8690 July 17 2014 at 12:32 AM

Royalty to redneck! Sounds like a winning formula for a reality show.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
1 reply
pdbocc bigred8690 July 17 2014 at 8:36 AM

Actually the article states she is 61 years old, that would mean she wasn't even born in 1947 when her father was forced to abdicate his throne.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
maggwheels July 17 2014 at 6:26 AM

These disgusting people should go to jail!!! They should then be deported!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
wlh1923 maggwheels July 17 2014 at 12:17 PM

Please tell me you don't eat chicken. The life and death of a factory raised chicken FOR YOUR FOOD is far, far worse than that of the rooster who is killed after a brief fight. Their entire miserable lives are followed by a horrific death. Hung upside down, bled to death, beheaded, parboiled while still alive to ensure you get the purest of white meat.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
BONNA HEANEY wlh1923 July 17 2014 at 4:24 PM

wlh after reading your post I think I will go to KFC for a large bucket of Chicken... You made me very hungry..

Flag 0 rate up
rude July 17 2014 at 8:21 AM

Prince Harry once got into a cockfight in Vegas. Had he not been drinking, he might have won.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
BaltimoreBud rude July 17 2014 at 10:59 AM

That is funny!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
onebluebrick July 16 2014 at 11:51 PM

Some people would sell their own mother for money.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Dan July 17 2014 at 11:38 AM

Human beings causing serious brain damage and life threatening injuries to each other in professional boxing is perfectly legal but having 2 roosters fighting to the death in a barn is a crime even though millions of chickens are slaughtered daily in the USA for our dining pleasure. Recent studies show that pro-football players also suffer brain damage and life threatening injuries but we tolerate that sport as well but don't you dare stage a cock-fight. Does anyone else see hypocrasy here? ♣

Flag Reply +3 rate up
English July 17 2014 at 11:17 AM

The State of Oregon worries about cocks alot

Flag Reply +3 rate up
silkroadg July 17 2014 at 11:38 AM

Perfection and leave it to the LIBERAL STATE OF OREGON to sniff out and SLAP DOWN that horrific crime of cockfighting while never noticing the EXPLODING POPULATION of ILLEGALS everywhere in their borders!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
smashingmonkey silkroadg July 17 2014 at 3:16 PM

What?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lv2213frs July 17 2014 at 12:37 PM

Roma royalty. Genetically crooks, grifters, etc.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
kcarthey lv2213frs July 17 2014 at 1:07 PM

Romas are often called gypsies and have no relationship to Romania or the royal family which is decended from the Royal Houses of England and Germany

Flag Reply +1 rate up
davidmapp7 July 17 2014 at 9:17 AM

close the border for Romanians now ?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Mike July 17 2014 at 1:43 PM

They first start with cock fighting and then work their way up to snuff films.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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