Hampton Roads Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Bald Eagle

A Smithfield, Virginia man pleaded guilty to shooting a bald eagle on his property, then running it over with his ATV to eventually kill it.

According to his plea agreement, Allen H. Thacker, 62, was upset the bald eagle had been hunting and taking fish from a pond on his property.

Court records show Thacker first tried to scare the bird away with a warning shot, but when that didn’t work, he shot it with a .22 caliber rifle and wounded it.

Then, a witness reported seeing Thacker drive over the bird with his ATV. A necropsy performed on the eagle showed blunt force trauma to its skull was the cause of death.

Thacker pleaded guilty to the federal crime of “unlawful taking of a bald eagle.” He faces up to one year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine when he is sentenced on October 23.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement Tuesday.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.