Smithfield man pleads guilty to shooting, fatally running over bald eagle

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SMITHFIELD, Va.- An Isle of Wight man accused of shooting and running over a bald eagle pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Allen Thacker allegedly killed the eagle on or around March 13, according to court documents.

A plea agreement states Thacker killed the eagle because he was upset it had been hunting and taking fish from a pond on his property.

According to court records, he tried to scare the bird away with a warning shot. When that didn’t work, he shot it with a Remington .22 caliber rifle.

A necropsy performed on the eagle revealed Thacker’s shot wounded the bird, but the bird died from blunt force trauma to its skull.

Prosecutors say he drove over the bird with his all-terrain vehicle.

According to Thacker’s attorney, Robert Rigney, the incident happened on Thacker’s property but wouldn’t say much else.

Thacker faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine when sentenced on October 23.

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