South Dakota man sentenced for killing bald eagle in Nebraska

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Prosecutors said a South Dakota man has been sentenced for his role in killing a bald eagle.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for Nebraska said Thursday that 27-year-old Abel Hernandez, of Yankton, South Dakota, was given three years of probation and fined $1,250. He also was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

Investigators said that in January 2016 Hernandez and another person shot and killed the eagle and left the carcass in Cedar County, Nebraska. Pictures recovered from a cellphone showed Hernandez posing with the dead eagle.

Bald eagles once nearly disappeared from most of the U.S. but flourished under federal protections and came off the endangered list in 2007. As a protected species, hunting them generally remains illegal.