A Big Pine Key woman has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of shooting a Key deer, in what her attorney and others have described as a mercy killing.

Federal prosecutors have charged Big Pine Key resident Wendy C. Kilheffer, 77, with violating the Endangered Species Act by shooting and killing a Key deer in November. She recently pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from that case and is awaiting sentencing. Kilheffer was arraigned and released on $10,000 bond.