GAINES TWP. — Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has charged a Gaines Township man with shooting a bald eagle near his home in the area of Van Vleet and Ray Rds. in southwest Genesee County.
James Allen Nelson, 65, is charged with shooting an endangered species and reckless discharge of a firearm, both of which are misdemeanors punishable by up to 90 days in the county jail.
The case broke on Feb. 14 when a Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer was dispatched to the area of Van Vleet and Ray Rds. to investigate what was reported to be an injured bald eagle that was discovered by a local resident in the woods. After locating the eagle and recovering it from the field, DNR officials transported it to the Canton Center Animal Hospital for examination and treatment, according to a press release from Leyton’s office. The medical examination determined the eagle had suffered gunshot wounds, and it was treated for its injuries. The eagle was then taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitation for further treatment and rehabilitation.
A law enforcement investigation by the DNR lead them to Nelson and based on the DNR’s report and evidence, Leyton authorized the two misdemeanor counts against him. Nelson will be arraigned on the charges in the 67th District Court.