Plea, sentencing set for killing endangered whooping crane

An April 13, 2017 photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows a male whooping crane, L8-11, left, and mate L7-11, on nest, with newly hatched LW1-17 in Louisiana. (Eva Szyszkoski/Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries via AP)
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(AP) A man accused of killing one of Louisiana's oldest whooping cranes is scheduled to change his plea and face sentencing in the state where more of the endangered birds have been killed than any other.

Gilvin Aucoin Jr.'s public defender notified the federal court in Lafayette on Oct. 1 that Aucoin wanted to change his plea from not guilty of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in July 2018.

Two International Crane Foundation staffers plan to attend the hearing Friday. Lizzie Condon says they want a sentence that will deter others. She says nine whoopers have been killed in Louisiana since 2011, compared to eight in Texas since 1967. Only about 850 whooping cranes remain.

Condon says it costs $93,700 to raise, release and monitor one whooping crane in Louisiana.