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Murder Investigation Leads To Cockfighting Arrest

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
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getty cockfighting 98061634 Murder Investigation Leads To Cockfighting Arrest

VAN ZANDT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - A murder investigation in Van Zandt County led deputies to an illegal cockfighting ring.

Sheriff Pat Burnett says, 21-year-old Luis Rodriguez of Athens died from a gunshot wound after someone drove him to the East Texas Medical Center around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Investigators discovered Rodriguez had been shot while attending a cockfight on a property off FM 1861 in Athens.

Burnett says witnesses helped clean up the scene to cover up what was going on and destroyed much of the evidence in the murder.

At the request of the sheriff’s office, the SPCA of Texas, based in Dallas, seized 27 birds from the property – 17 hens and 10 fighting roosters. The roosters were all housed in wooden transport crates commonly used by cock fighters, according to a statement by the organization.

The SPCA also seized 80 eggs discovered inside incubators on the property.

A custody hearing scheduled for Monday will determine what will happen to the birds.

Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states, including Texas, where it is a felony.

No charges have yet been filed.

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