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Man pleads guilty to shooting golfer who hit home

By Martin Griffith

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:44 a.m. HST, Oct 21, 2013

RENO, Nev. » A Nevada man accused of shooting a golfer who broke a window at his home with an errant ball has pleaded guilty to a felony charge.

Jeff Fleming of Reno entered the plea to battery with a deadly weapon on Thursday in Washoe County District Court. He faces from probation to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he's sentenced Dec. 12.

The golfer was unable to find his ball and was doing a drop shot on the 16th hole of the Lakeridge Golf Course in September 2012 when Fleming approached and fired a single shot at him with a shotgun, prosecutors said. The golfer was treated for minor injuries to an arm and both legs at a hospital.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Neahusan said neighbors along the golf course were stunned as it's common for stray golf balls to hit their homes.

"Live on a golf course and you got to expect your house to get hit every once in a while," he told The Associated Press. "This (shooting) is one of those stories that you just can't make it up."

Neahusan said he's unsure what motivated the shooting and referred queries about Fleming's mental state to his lawyer, Larry Dunn.

Dunn did not immediately return phone calls.

Fleming, 53, has expressed remorse and shock over his reaction to the broken window, Neahusan said, adding he apparently has no felony criminal record.

"I'm not sure what was going on, but from what I've read and heard, it definitely sounds out of character," the prosecutor said.

In return for Fleming's guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop an assault with a deadly weapon charge and to go along with the Division of Parole and Probation's recommended sentence for him.

Police said the golfer and his partner ran away after the shot was fired and it wasn't until they were safe that the golfer realized he had been hit. One or two shotgun pellets had to be removed from his body at the hospital.

The area around the 16th hole was evacuated after the shooting. Fleming drove to his attorney's office, where he surrendered without incident.

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droid wrote:
They should force all golf course developers to build retaining walls. Most of these courses have nothing but a chain link fence surrounding the property.
on October 20,2013 | 04:41PM
nitpikker wrote:
no. like the neighbors said, if you buy a house next to a golf course you should EXPECT your house to get hit. no possible excuse for the shooter. i hope he gets hit with a lawsuit, big-time.
on October 20,2013 | 06:45PM
mikethenovice wrote:
A home near the airport shouldn't expect airplanes to fall.
on October 21,2013 | 06:16AM
BigOpu wrote:
...but it could happen.
on October 21,2013 | 09:09AM
GRKUYOUNG19 wrote:
No but they should expect loud noise from the planes that fly nearby.
on October 21,2013 | 09:56AM
Droid, a retaining wall does not have the aestetic appeal that a row of trees might which is typically the norm for houses vs. golf courses.
on October 21,2013 | 10:07AM
paradiddle wrote:
Crazy reaction to a common situation if you live next to a golf course. If they removed a pellet or 2 at the hospital, it sounds like the shooter was using bird shot and, fortunately not 00 buckshot or a slug.
on October 20,2013 | 08:18PM
NotNasti wrote:
on October 20,2013 | 10:11PM
HanabataDays wrote:
One arm and both legs. So I guess the shooter scored three holes-in-one?
on October 21,2013 | 02:24AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Easy to laugh when it didn't happen to you.
on October 21,2013 | 06:15AM
cojef wrote:
Gotta improve his golf game. Can't afford to extract birdshot continually. Better find a course without residences next to it. Homer owner should sell and get out if he is going to get irritated by an errant golf shot. You like the scene, you gotta pay for it with broken windows or glass.
on October 21,2013 | 06:11AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Don't lower yourself into doing something that you will regret. Just call the police and them do the investigation.
on October 21,2013 | 06:14AM
Makua wrote:
Relatives of mine reside, for the past seven years, on a gated golf course community on Cape Cod. The houses are located in the center of the golf course. Twice their windows have been broken due to golf balls. Twice they paid to have the windows fixed. The policy there is for the golfer to acknowledge the mishit, apologize and pay for the new glass. No one acknowledged or paid for new glass. My relatives were out or away when the incidents occurred. They say life is short, they have better things to do, that's the price you pay to live in a golf course. Not all people are honest.
on October 21,2013 | 06:48AM
krusha wrote:
People who live near golf courses know the risk and should buy reinforced windows instead.
on October 21,2013 | 06:57AM
on October 21,2013 | 07:45AM
lowtone123 wrote:
Nah, I don't feel like golfing today guys...I might get shot.
on October 21,2013 | 11:25AM
lowtone123 wrote:
You think when considering to buy or not to buy next to a golf course that the possibility of errant shots would have entered his mind.
on October 21,2013 | 08:09AM
BigOpu wrote:
Also, if you have a house next to a GC, rethink investing in a PV system. Instead of balls landing on your roof, it'll be damaging your pannels.
on October 21,2013 | 09:12AM
Throw the book at him and hang em' high.
on October 21,2013 | 10:10AM
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