Men Charged with Multiple Animal Cruelty Felonies for Fighting Chickens

By Alexander Ramirez

SACRAMENTO, CA – One of the chief targets of those opposed to animal cruelty in entertainment over the past several decades has been “cockfighting,” where male chickens are put into a ring to fight to the death—many are maimed and sometimes die for their animal handlers.

Sacramento County Superior Court Friday had one of those cases when Francisco Tovar-Cruz and Benito Toledo-Villegas entered Dept. 61, facing three separate counts of Penal Code section 597(a), felony animal cruelty.

They also are charged with “possession of a fighting cock,” and “cockfighting for amusement or gain.”

These alleged complaints occurred on or between Nov. 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021.

Toledo-Villegas and Tovar-Cruz were both in court for an arraignment, represented by their own attorneys; Guy Louis and John Corgorno, although Louis made a special appearance for Corgorno.

Both defendants were scheduled for further proceedings and a settlement conference on Sept. 27 in Dept. 62 at 8:30 a.m.

Until that day comes, however, Commissioner Ken Brody ordered that neither Toledo-Villegas and Tovar-Cruz were to own, possess, or care for any live chickens (cocks or hens) as a condition of their continued release. Both defendants agreed.

About The Author

Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing skills in preparation for the inevitable time of graduation.

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