Texan pleads guilty to wrongful killing of gator - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Texan pleads guilty to wrongful killing of gator

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - An East Texas man faces up to a year prison for the off-season shooting of an 800-pound alligator while canoeing in a public area.

Prosecutors in Beaumont say Michael Wayne Scoggin of Lufkin on Wednesday pleaded guilty to killing the 13-foot American alligator that's protected as an endangered species. No sentencing date was immediately set for Scoggin, who could be fined up to $100,000.

Prosecutors say Scoggin shot the reptile in April 2011 while canoeing on the Neches (NAY'-chis) River in Trinity County, towed the carcass and posted photos online and at a store. Investigators later recovered the preserved skull and hide.

Texas law bars the killing of alligators in Trinity County other than on certain dates in September, plus bans the shooting of alligators from boats in public waters.

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