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Attempted murder trial starts Thurs.

On the eve of going to trial for opening fire on two fishermen on Harvest Farms Lake, the defense for Floyd Kirby say the shooting was an accident – not an act of attempted murder as alleged by prosecutors.
“This was accidental, period,” said defense attorney Tim Pirtle who will represent Kirby, 76, when his trial begins tomorrow for the shooting of his neighbor, Ken Murray. “My client is a Vietnam veteran and has combat experience so if this had been an intentional plan to kill he would have walked down to the water’s edge instead of firing from more than 100 yards away. The chances of hitting anyone on that boat with a shotgun from that far away were about the same odds of getting hit by lightning.”
Murray suffered buckshot wounds to the arm and torso as he and friend Stan Owenby fished in a boat behind Kirby’s house on Harvest Farms Lake. The victims say Kirby warned them to stay away from his property and then opened fire, hitting and knocking Murray out of the boat. The men were able to get to safety and Murray was treated for his injuries while Kirby was arrested on the felony charges.
While prosecutors say Kirby meant to open fire on the boaters, Pirtle said they are skewing the case and the evidence suggests otherwise.
Specifically, Pirtle said he will show his client did in fact see the boaters and did come down toward the dock to point out his no trespassing sign.
“He told them to read and heed,” Pirtle said of his client’s words with the men who were at least 30 yards off shore but still technically on Kirby’s property which extends into the lake. “It’s in black and white that there was to be fishing on the landowner’s property only. His property, while part of it was submerged under the lake, was still his private property.”
The shooting, Pirtle maintains, was not committed with the intent of injuring the boat occupants, but was instead intended to scare off black birds which had roosted in trees near where Kirby fed his ducks. Supporting his point, Pirtle said, is the distance at which the shotgun shells were found showing his client had fired the volleys from well away from the shoreline where hitting the fishermen would have been a long shot at best.
“Why he would fire at them from that far away if he intended to hit them? It doesn’t make sense,” Pirtle said. “It’s illogical.”
Kirby, who has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from his time in Vietnam, faces up to 25 years in prison should he be convicted on the attempted murder charge.

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