Miss. man to plead guilty to shooting eagle

By The Associated Press

ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) — An Iuka man has agreed to waive trial and plead guilty to shooting a young bald eagle, which are protected animals under federal law.

The charge is a misdemeanor.

William “Bill” Branum earlier this month agreed to a change of plea. No date has been set for the change of plea and sentencing in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen. Prosecutors did not oppose the motion.

Federal officials say the eagle was shot in the left wing near Burnsville in March of 2011. The bird died in January of an infection despite Jackson Zoo officials’ efforts to save it.

The zoo had planned to release the bird into the wild after rehabilitation.

Branum has pleaded not guilty in November.