Reno man gets probation for golf course shooting

A Reno man has been placed on probation and fined $1,000 for

shooting a golfer whose errant ball broke a bedroom window at his

home.

Jeff Fleming, 53, was put on probation for up to five years in

Washoe County District Court. He had faced as much as 10 years in

prison and a $10,000 fine after he earlier pleaded guilty to a

felony charge of battery with a deadly weapon.

The unidentified golfer who struck Fleming’s house took a drop

and was attempting to play his next shot on the Lakeridge Golf

Course in September 2012 when Fleming fired a shotgun at him. The

golfer, who was playing with a friend, was treated at a hospital

for minor injuries to an arm and both legs.

Fleming’s attorney, Larry Dunn, said Friday his client was just

waking up when the stray golf ball shattered his bedroom window and

sprayed him with glass shards. Fleming shot at the golfer from some

50 yards away in an attempt to scare him, not injure him, Dunn

said.

The ball ”came crashing through the bedroom window and it

startled him, and he thought he was being shot at,” Dunn told The

Associated Press. ”He anticipated the ball coming through might

have been intentional, and thought there was potential harm.

”There’s no question the single shot he fired was a warning or

to scare him. There was no intention to hit him,” he added.

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.

Fleming expressed remorse, telling the judge Thursday he was

shocked at his own behavior.

While his house is located along the golf course, Dunn said, it

was the first time it had been hit by a golf ball in the 10 years

he has lived there. The house is positioned away from the flight

path of golf balls, he said.

The area around the 16th hole was evacuated after the shooting.

Fleming drove to Dunn’s office, where he surrendered without

incident.

Fleming had no previous criminal record.

”He’s an outstanding citizen and it (shooting) is just an

aberration,” Dunn said.