Friday, July 16, 2004

Maui jury turns in guilty
verdict for cockfighting

WAILUKU >> A 61-year-old man has been convicted of racketeering, first-degree promotion of gambling and cruelty to animals in the first trial stemming from a year-long undercover investigation into cockfighting operations on Maui.

William Dutro, of Wailuku, was among 35 people indicted in the investigation conducted in 2002. More than 20 are awaiting trial, while others have entered into plea agreements, prosecutors said. A jury deliberated for two hours Wednesday before reaching its verdict.

"It does send a message to the people involved in this: It's still illegal in Hawaii," Maui County Deputy Prosecutor J.W. Hupp said.

Defense attorney Keith Tanaka had said in closing arguments that Dutro had only been a spectator at the events.


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