A Colorado man who shot two bears cubs rummaging in his trash has been charged with illegally discharging a firearm and aggravated cruelty to animals.

Fifty-year-old Daniel Williams, of Evergreen, could get probation or up to 4 1/2 years in prison if convicted of the felony counts announced by prosecutors Thursday along with three misdemeanors.

Officials say Williams first tried to scare off the cubs Tuesday by firing rubber bullets but then fired a live round to protect his dog after it ran outside. The bullet went through a neighbor's window.

Authorities initially said one cub was killed instantly but now say both were euthanized.

District Attorney Peter Weir says the shooting was needless and there's no evidence Williams' life was in danger.

Williams didn't return a call seeking comment.