Virginia man pleads guilty to killing bald eagle

WASHINGTON — A Virginia man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to shooting and killing a bald eagle near his home in Smithfield.

Allen Thacker, 62, said he first tried to scare away the bird who had been hunting fish from a pond on his property, according to court records.

But when a warning shot didn’t work, he admitted that he shot the bird directly and then ran over it with his all-terrain vehicle.

Federal laws prohibit the shooting of bald eagles.

Thacker faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $1,000.

He’ll be sentenced in October.

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