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Lampasas County Man Indicted in Deaths of Bald Eagles

AUSTIN – A Lampasas County grand jury has returned an indictment against a Bend, Texas, man on two counts of killing bald eagles, a protected non-game animal. Jackie Brister, 82, also faces additional charges alleging he captured and killed numerous other non-game birds, including black vultures and turkey vultures.

Texas game wardens launched an initial investigation after responding to a call regarding a wounded bald eagle discovered near Bend on Jan. 11, 2017; the bird did not survive. Working in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wardens determined the eagle had been shot by a rifle. Further investigation uncovered evidence of additional taking of protected non-game animals.

With help from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office, cases were made and filed with the Lampasas County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to citations for the taking of a state threatened species and non-game birds, Class C misdemeanors punishable by fines of $25-$500 for each case, Brister also faces a Class A misdemeanor violation for hunting without landowner consent. That charge carries a possible fine of $500-$4,000 and/or up to a one year state jail term. Brister could also face civil restitution for the eagles in an amount to be determined exceeding $10,000 each.