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Testimony continues in highly publicized eagle trial

Posted by wlpo on February 25, 2015

Testimony continues Wednesday in the retrial of an Oglesby man who says he was just trying to help an injured baby eagle.

Steve Patterson faces four misdemeanor counts of violating the wildlife code. On Tuesday the prosecution called conservation and state police officers who all testified that Patterson was told to stay away from a fallen nest along Route 251 but he still went ahead and took two baby eaglets even though only one of them he thought was hurt. They claim Patterson called police concerned about the nest using a fake name and was calling 9-1-1 all the while he had the eaglets in his garage.

Patterson’s attorney Tom McClintock says the wildlife code is written to protect eagles and everything Patterson did was consistent with the law. He told the jury Patterson was the only one involved who was protecting the eagles.

McClintock throughout Tuesday’s testimony questioned why police took a “let nature take its course approach” instead of calling someone to assess the situation closer to find out if the baby eagles were hurt.

If he’s found guilty, Patterson likely will only face fines although he would be eligible for jail time.

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