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.