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Updated: 7th January 2019 11:47

Farmer who shot thief pleads to negligence

A central Alberta farmer who injured a man while defending his property pleaded guilty to criminal negligence Friday in a Red Deer courtroom.

A central Alberta farmer who injured a man while defending his property pleaded guilty to criminal negligence Friday in a Red Deer courtroom.

Brian Knight chased and shot towards a man who had his ATV after it was taken from his farm near Tees, Alta., on March 26, 2009.

The Crown dropped three other charges after Knight entered the guilty plea. Knight originally faced seven charges, including assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and discharging a firearm.

The incident began when Knight spotted three men in his farmyard early in the morning of March 26. Two of the men fled in a truck while a third sped off on Knight's all-terrain vehicle, according to Bashaw RCMP.

Knight drove after the man on the ATV, rammed his car into it, and then pulled out a shotgun and fired two rounds at the fleeing man, who was struck, but kept on running, police said.

Knight then called friends and relatives to help him with his search, police said. The wounded man was intercepted, then allegedly escaped in a stolen truck, but lost control of the vehicle and was caught a second time. Police were then called in to help.

The wounded man was flown to hospital by air ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

Knight will be sentenced in late May.

The man who was shot, Harold Groening of Mirror, previously pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000.

Tees is about 35 kilometres northeast of Red Deer.

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