When one pictures the wealthy gambling, including members of royalty, one likely pictures the gambling taking place somewhere like the casinos of Monte Carlo or Las Vegas. However, there is at least one recent case where a princess, Princess Irina Walker, was accused of helping to operate a cockfighting ring. She’s pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Princess Irina Walker, 60, is the third daughter of Michael I, the deposed king of Romania. In a federal court in Oregon, Walker plead “not guilty” to the, er, fowl charges leveled against her.
The Switzerland-born Princess Irina was busted along with her husband, John Wesley Walker, according to The Oregonian newspaper. She was born in Switzerland when he father was forced to flee from the Communist rule that was imposed on Romania.
Walker and her husband have been released from jail, pending their two-week jury trail that is set to begin October 15. The princess has lived in the U.S. since 1983. Though they have been released, she and her husband must wear GPS bracelets and remain in the region while awaiting trail.
What, exactly, were the charges leveled against Princess Irina?
After the police busted up the cockfighting ring, Princess Irina and her husband were charge with operating an illegal gambling business, conspiracy, and the violation of animal welfare rights.
The cockfighting operation extended in the state of Washington, with 16 people suspected of being members.
The indictment against the couple states that the Walkers operated at least 10 cockfights on their land. The cocks, or roosters, as they’re also called, have sharp objects such as razor blades attached to their legs.
The cocks jump up, and kick and peck at each other, in a deadly game in which people bet money on who they think the victor will be.
As the indictment states:
The fight is ended when one rooster is dead or refuses to continue to fight.”
The indictment also indicates what happens to the unfortunate loster of the fights:
If not killed during the fight, the losing rooster is almost always killed after the fight.”
Cockfighting is a big business in many states, and a lot of money is made and lost in wagering upon the outcome of the fights.
According to the Department of Justice, the offenses which the Walkers are charged with each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $250,000.
King Michael I of Romania was born in 1912, and he was the last king of his country. The Communist government threatened to kill 1,000 unless he would resign and abdicate his throne.
Life was tough after the king and his family left Romania and fell on economically hard times. For instance, according to a report in The Oregonian, King Michael I worked at jobs like being a test pilot, running a chicken farm, and owning a carpenter’s shop
Princess Irina studied in France and then in Britain, before she then moved to a horse ranch in Canada and settled in the USA
After studying in France and Britain, Irina moved to Canada to work on a horse ranch and eventually settled in the US in 1983.
After leaving Romania, the king, queen and their five daughters lived in Switzerland and Britain, where the royal couple still resides.
According to The Oregonian, King Michael I worked different jobs in Switzerland and England including test pilot, ran a chicken farm and owned a carpenter’s shop.
Written by: Douglas Cobb