Farmer to be sentenced in October in shooting

A farmer convicted of shooting a thief who was stealing his all-terrain vehicle will be sentenced in the fall.

A farmer convicted of shooting a thief who was stealing his all-terrain vehicle will be sentenced in the fall.

Brian Russell Knight, 39, of Tees, will be sentenced for criminal negligence causing bodily harm for shooting Harold Groening, who stole the ATV on March 26, 2009.

Knight will be sentenced Oct. 7 in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench. He had been set for a sentence hearing last month but it was delayed when his lawyer couldn’t attend.

Knight pleaded guilty in mid-January. Sentencing had first been adjourned to allow for preparation of a pre-sentence report, during which a probation officer examined several aspects of Knight’s life.

Court heard in January that Knight didn’t intend to shoot Groening.

Knight shot Groening when the thief was attempting to flee early in the morning through a field after abandoning the ATV.

Groening’s accomplices fled in the truck, leaving Groening to drive the ATV down the road with Knight in pursuit in a vehicle.

Knight bumped into Groening, sending him crashing into the ditch.

Knight then grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun from his vehicle and fired high over the fleeing Groening with light birdshot.

However, several pellets hit Groening, who fell but got up again, running through a field. Knight fired again, hitting Groening in the back and backside areas.

Groening was briefly hospitalized for numerous wounds.

His two accomplices were sentenced last year after pleading guilty to lesser charges.

Several firearms-related charges earlier were withdrawn against Knight.