Twelve years after pleading guilty to federal charges in the deaths of three bald eagles, Leslie Owen Collier learned last week that his name was cleared: He was pardoned by President Bush. "I guess I was humbled is the best way to say it—I never thought it would happen," Collier, 50, said. "It was emotional. I almost came to tears, really."
In 1995, Collier “got it in my head that if I eliminated some of the coyotes,” it would offer wild turkeys, whose population seemed to be increasing, “a jump-start" on their comeback, he said. So he put out poisoned meat in an effort to kill the coyotes. Seven died, but so did federally protected eagles who ate them. Collier became a convicted felon and was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.