Virginia man pleads guilty to shooting bald eagle, running it over with ATV

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SMITHFIELD, Va. — A Virginia man pleaded guilty to killing a bald eagle on Tuesday.

Allen Thacker, 62, shot the eagle and then ran it over with an ATV, the Justice Department told ABC News.

Thacker shot the eagle because “he was upset it had been hunting and taking fish from a pond located on his property,” the Justice Department said.

According to the statement of facts obtained by ABC, Thacker told police he tried to scare off the eagle with a warning shot.

But when it did not leave, he used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot the eagle and used a pistol to “finish the eagle off.”

The medical examiner found no evidence that Thacker used a pistol on the eagle, ABC News reports.

As part of a plea deal, Thacker must forfeit the rifle but because he is joint owner of the ATV, he agreed to forfeit a sum of $960, according to ABC.

Thacker will be allowed to keep the pistol because it was determined not to be part of the case.

Thacker faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. He will be sentenced on Oct. 23.