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Man pleads guilty to shooting golfer over errant ball

| Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 7:54 p.m.

RENO — A man accused of shooting a golfer who broke a window of 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 in Washoe County District Court. The possible penalty ranges from probation to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he's sentenced on 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 wounds in 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 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 said. “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.

“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.

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