Federal appeals court to hear SC cockfighting case

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A federal court will hear appeals from six people found guilty of violating federal animal fighting laws at a Lexington County cockfight in a 2010 trial.

The State newspaper of Columbia reported that the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., will hear the case Jan. 24.

Lawyers for the four men and two women say in a brief that the verdicts should be overturned because the federal government has no grounds to be involved in a South Carolina cockfighting case under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

During the trial, the government sought to prove the defendants in Swansea were involved in interstate commerce, which would give the federal government jurisdiction.

The trial featured video shot by an S.C. Department of Natural Resources undercover agent.

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