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California Briefing / Santa Ana

Woman guilty in landscape dispute

August 26, 2009|Mike Anton

A 66-year-old Anaheim woman was found guilty Tuesday of attempted murder for shooting her neighbor of 30 years in a dispute over landscaping.

Anita Judith Spriggs pulled out a handgun and shot Gary Hall, 66, in the shoulder Sept. 30, 2007, when he confronted her about reaching over a shared fence and pulling plants from his yard. The two had a history of verbal altercations, Hall's wife said at the time.

The Orange County Superior Court jury will now hear evidence and rule on Spriggs' plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Spriggs put the handgun in an oven mitt and hid it in a hole in her bedroom wall, then refused to come out of her home when police arrived. She surrendered after an hourlong standoff.

If jurors dismiss her insanity defense, Spriggs faces a maximum of 25 years to life in state prison.

-- Mike Anton

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