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Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Shot Heard Around the Golf Course

     Jeff Fleming lived in a house adjacent to the 16th hole fairway on the Lakeridge Golf Course in Reno, Nevada. In September 2012, when a golfer hit a ball through one of Fleming's windows, the 53-year-old imposed a unique penalty on the wayward ball striker. As the golfer addressed his dropped ball not far from the window he had broken, Mr. Fleming made a shot of his own. He fired a shotgun at the terrified golfer who dropped his club and ran for his life. Mr. Fleming, apparently, had not yelled "fore!"

     Fortunately for the golfer, Mr. Fleming was off-target with his shot as well. The golfer, hit by a few pellets from a single shotgun round, was treated at a nearby emergency room for minor arm and leg injuries.

     Immediately after the golf course shooting, Jeff Fleming drove to his attorney's office to turn himself in. Police officers arrested him at the law office. A Washoe County prosecutor charged Mr. Fleming with assault with a deadly weapon, a serious crime that could put Fleming behind bars for twenty years.

     In October 2013, the man who fired a shotgun at the golfer who broke his window pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of battery with a deadly weapon. Even so, he faced a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. However, when Fleming was sentenced in December, the judge put him on probation. The fact he didn't have a criminal record, and had expressed remorse shortly after the shooting, probably keep him out of prison. 

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