Spell, the head of the Life Tabernacle Church in Central City, Louisiana, was cited on Friday for alligator hunting violations after he uploaded a photo to Instagram of himself holding a dead gator he had allegedly fatally shot behind his church.
He also shared a video to Instagram showing him holding the lifeless animal by the tail, where he said: “We killed this about 6-and-a-half-foot gator in the lake a few minutes ago, so we’re officially ready for baptisms tomorrow morning. We’ll see you here at the lake.”
The agency confirmed that it seized the animal’s body from Spell and said that the pastor was cited for “harvesting an alligator during a closed season.” Alligator hunting season in the area, which is opened to control the population of the animals, does not begin until September 1, 2021.
◾️Spell said he is not guilty. He said the gator was approaching his wife.
◾️He said the gator was a threat to the welfare of the children in my Sunday school
◾️He said he would do it again to protect “innocent children and women.”
◾️His attorney, Jeff Wittenbrink, said Spell was unaware of the law.
◾️Spell will be going to trial this month for violating in-person gathering COVID restrictions.
◾️Killing an alligator during a closed season and without a tag brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense Spell also faces civil restitution totaling $375.80 for the replacement value of the illegally taken alligator according to agents.