WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
As they approached, they realized they were largely outnumbered by the more than 100 spectators packed into a barn behind the home.
"They knew they didn't have the man power to start arresting," said chief deputy David Williams Jr. "If you arrested one you d have to arrest all of them on the scene."
Dash camera footage captured from deputies patrol cars showed an unidentified man carrying what looks like a dead rooster. He then dropped it in a trash can, which he then carried away.
Williams said bleachers were also found in the barn along with the bodies of many dead chickens and several wounded ones.
Farm owner Charlie Siebers was arrested and charged with cock and animal fighting three nights later. After being released, he spoke only with Fox 17.
"I ain't never raised none of them fighting roosters," Siebers said.
He says he was in Kentucky with his wife the night deputies arrived on his property.
Siebers said he'd often allowed strangers onto his land to hunt but said he did not know there was a cock fight on his property that night.
When asked if he knew of any cock fights on his land before he said, "Yeah probably. I don t know."
Siebers said he knows what happened on his property was illegal, but then offered his personal thoughts about the practice
"If they want to do it, let them do it," Siebers said. "I just come around by a yard on Lewisburg, it's full of chickens tied up in little cages. I don't think it's no crueler than that right there, do you?"
The Humane Society of the United States says Tennessee is one of only 10 states in the nation that punishes cockfighting as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Leighann McCollum is a spokesperson for the society and said cock fights are often used to fund and distribute drugs, and Tennesse' s lenient laws actually make the Volunteer State a more dangerous place.
"People from felony states actually come to Tennessee to commit their crime," McCollum said.. "They come here to fight animals to the death in pits all across our state, so we've actually become a magnet for this criminal activity."
Monday, December 10 2012, 10:12 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
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