Man admits to killing bald eagle by shooting, running over it with 4-wheeler

Could get prison time, $100,000 fine
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 12:55:10-04

A Virginia man admitted to killing a bald eagle by running over it with an all-terrain vehicle after shooting it.

Allen Thacker, 62, pleaded guilty this week to killing one of the nation's avian icon while hunting on his property in Smithfield, Virginia.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Thacker shot the eagle because he was upset it had been taking fish from a pond on his property. He shot the bird with a rifle, wounding it, and finished it off by running over it with his ATV.

When interviewed by investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Thacker denied running over the eagle but a witness told police they'd seen him do it.

The eagle died of blunt force trauma to the skull, according to the Justice Department.

Thacker will be sentenced in October and faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.