A northwest Texas rancher has admitted that he opened fire on a crop-dusting airplane flying overhead.
Stephen Paul Riley of Olney, 120 miles northwest of Dallas, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Wichita Falls to a count of aircraft destruction. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison and fined $250,000 when he's sentenced May 21.
According to court records, a crop-dusting pilot flew over property adjacent to Riley's Flying Lead Ranch around midday on Feb. 22, 2008. Riley fired multiple times on the aircraft, striking and nearly severing the rudder cable and striking a wing strut.
Court records showed Riley had previously threatened the owner of the company that leased the plane, saying that he would shoot down any plane flying over the ranch.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.