Homeowner makes plea deal for shooting at alleged burglars

Posted at 7:46 PM, Feb 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-13 00:28:48-05

LAYTON, Utah - A Layton man who was arrested for firing his gun at alleged burglars made a plea deal on Tuesday.

Police say Clare Niederhauser arrived at his Layton home on Jan. 31 to find a man with a pry-bar exiting his house and a car with two people inside parked in his driveway.

Niederhauser says that he knew he was being robbed and, as the car sped away, he used his concealed weapon to fire a shot at the car. As the remaining suspect ran towards a field, Niederhauser says he fired another shot in the suspect's direction with the intention of scaring him. None of the suspects were hit.

Layton Police arrested Niederhauser and charged him with two counts of reckless endangerment for firing his weapon.

On Tuesday, Niederhauser and Layton City reached a plea deal. Niederhauser pleaded guilty to a class B misdemeanor for discharging a weapon in city limits and policed dropped the two reckless endangerment charges.

As part of the plea agreement, Niederhauser will also forfeit the weapon used in the incident and pay a $700 fine.

"I learned a great lesson. I was not prepared for the effects of adrenaline and emotion and how that interfered with my ability to act in accordance with my training. I cannot be sure where my bullets hit," Niederhauser said in a prepared statement on Tuesday. "To my friends and fellow citizens, we do have the right to protect ourselves but it must be within the parameters of the law."

Two of the three alleged intruders were arrested and face felony burglary charges.

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