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Rodney Thomas, the dad of Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas II, was charged with killing a bald eagle with an air rifle in May. He’s since been appointed a federal public defender, which means American taxpayers are on the hook for covering the legal fees surrounding the anti-American crime.
The 50-year-old Thomas was indicted on a misdemeanor violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act in July, two months after allegedly shooting and killing a bald eagle in Mt. Pleasant, Penn.
The bald eagle was one of two that have nested in the area for nearly 20 years, with the two recently hatching eaglets, according to those in the community.
“Everybody in the community has a pair of binoculars on the window sill in their kitchen, and we’re all very protective of all of our wildlife in our lake,” said Linda Carnevali, who lives in the Cherry Valley Lakeview Estates.
Thomas’ financial filings used to justify the taxpayer-funded defense were not publicly available, according to Fox News.
The arraignment for Thomas is scheduled for Tuesday morning as he is facing a maximum of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Thomas II is entering his second season with the Colts after being drafted in the seventh round out of Yale in the 2022 NFL Draft.