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Man admits to brutally killing bald eagle that upset him

NORFOLK, Va. — A Smithfield man could be sentenced to one year in prison after he admitted he killed a bald eagle that upset him.

Allen H. Thacker, 62, first shot, then ran over the bird, according to his plea agreement.

“He was upset [the bald eagle] had been hunting and taking fish from a pond located on his property,” according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office. “[He] first tried to scare the bird away with a warning shot. When that did not work, Thacker shot the bird with a Remington .22 caliber rifle.”

The rifle shot injured the bald eagle and knocked it to the ground.

“Though Thacker initially denied it when interviewed by investigators, a witness reported having seen Thacker drive over the bird with his all-terrain vehicle,” the statement continued. “In Court records filed with [his] guilty plea, Thacker fully admitted to shooting the bird and running it over with the all-terrain vehicle.”

A necropsy found the eagle died from a blunt force trauma to its skull.

In addition to prison time, Thacker could be fined up to $100,000 when he is sentenced October 23.