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Alleged bald eagle shooter charged, trial set

April 13, 2011 - On April 6, James A Nelson, 65, was charged before Judge John Conover in 67th District Court with shooting an endangered species and reckless discharge of a firearm in connection with a wounded bald eagle near his home in the area of Van Vleet and Ray roads in Genesee County, just west of Groveland Township. Both counts carry 93 days in jail and fines. His pretrial is set for April 19. A law enforcement investigation by the DNR led them to Nelson.

Julie Oakes, senior wildlife biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, was part of a team that responded on Feb. 14 to the remote rural area after a call requesting help for the injured eagle. The eagle was found near Ray Road in Gaines Township, about 20 miles west of the village of Holly—just a few miles from Seven Lakes State Park and Holly Recreation Area.

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