BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Lake Isabella man was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday for shooting a neighbor multiple times during a dispute over the use of a drone.
Alfred Neith, 34, was found guilty in April of assault with a firearm on a person in the March 9, 2018, shooting. A jury hung on a charge of attempted voluntary manslaughter.
According to court documents, multiple witnesses said Neith, 34, shot the neighbor during a confrontation stemming from Neith flying a drone over nearby residences and yards, raising privacy concerns. Some believed Neith was recording their families.
Neith told investigators a group of people showed up at his home and challenged him to a fight over his use of the drone, the documents said. He said he armed himself with a handgun and confronted them.
During the ensuing argument, Neith’s wife ran toward one of the other men. One witness said she slapped the man, and another said she pushed him.
There were conflicting accounts as to what happened next. One witness told investigators the man extended his arm to stop Neith’s wife from hitting him again. Neith said the man struck his wife in the head with an empty beer bottle.
Neith’s wife fell to the ground, according to the documents. Neith then raised his gun and shot the other man four times. The man was rushed to a hospital and survived.
Neith said he feared for his and his wife’s lives when he opened fire, the documents said. Investigators, however, noted he had no injuries and admitted to entering the confrontation with a loaded gun.