EL DORADO, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Magnolia man was sentenced in June to 24 months of federal probation for killing a bald eagle.
Christopher Lane Shackelford, 20, was arrested on Jan. 16, 2022, after officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were dispatched to Lake Columbia after a report that a bald eagle was shot.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Arkansas, the officers made contact with a witness who advised that he observed a bald eagle fly over their location shortly before witnessing a subject, later identified as Shackelford, shoot and retrieve the bird.
The release says that Shackelford initially denied the claims but later admitted to the officers that he shot the bald eagle.
Bald eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and violations of these laws can carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and two years in federal prison.
Shackelford was charged with one count of aiding and abetting in the taking of a bald eagle. The first 60 days of his sentence was served on home detention, and he was ordered to pay $2,025 in fees.