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Local community thinks misdemeanor charge not warranted

A Texas man who is being hailed as a hero by his neighbors might have to face criminal charges soon. According to state law, hunting or killing an animal without a license is a misdemeanor charge. However, police have not released any definitive information as to whether he will actually be charged for his alleged actions.

The day before an experienced hunter killed an 11-foot long alligator, his friend had gone swimming in a local bayou. That same night, the swimmer's body was found after being attacked by the alligator. The attack apparently caused a great deal of unease in the area surrounding the bayou, and possibly dissatisfied with the reaction from authorities, the hunter decided to take action into his own hands. He killed the alligator with a single shot to the animal's head. 

Residents of the area surrounding the bayou have voiced their gratification for the man's actions and disagree with the idea that he should face criminal charges. The man who was killed in the alligator attack was well-known and liked within the community. While some people do acknowledge that the local game warden has a responsibility to uphold the law, they still agree that this instance might be an appropriate one to pass over.

Texas police report that the man accused of shooting the alligator has been cooperating with the authorities. Ultimately, the decision to file the poaching misdemeanor charge lies with the state's department of Parks and Wildlife. Should he be charged and subsequently convicted, he will possibly have to pay a $500 fine. Even though he faces no criminal charges as of yet, it is not too early to begin taking defense options into account in anticipation of possible charges.

Source: khou.com, "Man who killed man-eating gator could face charges", Kevin Reece and Grace White, July 8, 2015

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