'Super sorry' Willits man who killed endangered leopard gets $10,000 fine, probation

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A Willits man who hunted a protected South African leopard and smuggled it into the United States was ordered this week to pay a $10,000 fine and serve three years probation, according to the East Bay Times.

Adam Thatcher Lawrence, a 38-year-old real estate agent, was caught after bragging about the incident to undercover agents in 2016, U.S. Northern District Court records show.

Lawrence was indicted in January after authorities searched his home. He pleaded guilty to mislabeling wildlife as part of a plea deal with prosecutors in April in which he also gave up the leopard skin he imported and the rifle he used in the shooting.

He faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In a letter to the court on Monday, Lawrence expressed remorse for his actions, "I feel a great deal of remorse and shame for doing this. This is the worst thing I have ever done and I am super sorry for my actions and not listening to my better judgment."

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