Truckee man pleads no contest in hawk killing |

Truckee man pleads no contest in hawk killing

A Truckee man pleaded no contest in Federal Court in South Lake Tahoe for killing a red-tailed hawk near Prosser reservoir in May 1997.

Christopher Cross, 21, of Truckee, admitted to shooting a red-tailed hawk while target shooting near the reservoir. He was arrested on a federal warrant on May 7 by Tahoe National Forest Law Enforcement Officer Gary Barnett.

Barnett said authorities had been looking for Cross for approximately two years.

According to a witness, Cross shot the bird in flight, then left the area without checking on its welfare.

The witness retrieved the injured bird and took it to a wildlife rescue center, where it later died, said Barnett in a forest service press release issued on May 9.

Federal Magistrate Judge Monte Reece sentenced Cross to three years probation, and ordered him to pay $1,500 in fines.

Additional punishment

According to the report, Cross was also ordered to surrender his firearm and not possess or use a firearm for the time of his probation and is prohibited from obtaining a hunting license for three years.

Under federal law, Cross faced a maximum of six months in custody and/or $5,000 fine.

Pleading no contest carries the same legal weight as a guilty plea, but cannot be used against the defendant in later civil actions, said Barnett.

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