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.