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Second trial starting for Oglesby eaglet handler

Posted by wlpo on February 23, 2015

Jury selection is underway in the retrial of baby eaglet handler Steve Patterson of Oglesby.

Patterson faces four misdemeanor counts of violating the conservation code after taking two eaglets after they had fallen from their nest along Route 251 west of Illinois Valley Community College. A trial last year ended in a hung jury.

Patterson says he was just trying to help the eagles. But La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says Patterson has a long history of nature violations including a conviction in Wisconsin for unlawful baiting of an owl.

Because of the amount of publicity surrounding the case, Towne thinks jury selection could take longer than the trial itself. Patterson is represented by La Salle attorney Tom McClintock.

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