LORAIN — The attorney for a Lorain man accused of hosting a cockfight inside his Sheffield Township chicken coop pleaded not guilty on his client’s behalf Friday in Lorain Municipal Court.
Attorney Michael Barkus entered the plea for 83-year-old Felix Rosario, who is charged with three counts each of cruelty to animals and animal fighting. If convicted on all six counts, Rosario could receive a maximum of 270 days in jail and a $3,000 fine.
Rosario did not attend the court hearing, although Barkus would not discuss why. Rosario is free on a $3,750 cash bond.
Sheriff’s deputies raided Rosario’s half-acre, Lowell Avenue property last month and found several malnourished chickens, along with steroids, syringes and pills to reduce bleeding next to the chicken feed.
Deputies also spotted three blood-soaked roosters in animal carriers and a chicken carcass, and severed talons were found on the ground.
Forty-two of the chickens were taken to an animal sanctuary in Ravenna, while another 100 were left at the coop because they did not have the same evidence of mistreatment, sheriff’s Capt. Richard Resendez said.