Alligator involved in fatal Texas attack is killed, hunter may face fine

Posted at 8:34 AM, Jul 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 08:34:38-04

(CNN) — Texas game wardens are deciding whether to charge a man who admitted to killing an alligator involved in a fatal attack.

The alligator is suspected in the death of Tommie Woodward, 28, who jumped into a bayou early Friday morning — despite a verbal warning from a witness and a posted “No Swimming Alligators” sign at Burkhart’s Marina in Orange County.

Kent Robnett tells CNN affiliate KTRK that he trapped the 400 pound, 11½-foot alligator himself and then shot it in the head. He left the carcass on the marina dock Monday, where officials recovered it.

Though an autopsy reported that Woodward died by drowning, Orange County Justice of the Peace Rodney Price says his body parts were found inside the alligator.

Robnett told KTRK that he killed the deadly creature to protect his family and others who walk and swim near the bayou, which is near the Louisiana state line.

“I have a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 14-year-old who swim out here,” he told the affiliate. “He was just too big.”

Robnett says he knew he was breaking the law and anonymously called a local game warden, knowing he could face a charge of hunting without a permit and a $500 fine. He has since talked to investigators.

So far, no charges have been filed by Texas Parks and Wildlife authorities, who were hunting the alligator themselves.

In last week’s incident, Woodward seemed to mock the deadly creatures. Justice Price told CNN affiliate KFDM that “he said ‘blank the alligators’ and jumped into the water and almost immediately yelled for help.”

Woodward’s body was found hours later. An unidentified woman who jumped in with him for the late-night swim was not injured.