Alberta farmer who shot ATV thief will go to jail

A central Alberta farmer who shot a man stealing his ATV more than two years ago will serve 90 days in jail.

A central Alberta farmer who shot a man stealing his ATV more than two years ago will serve 90 days in jail. 

Brian Knight learned his sentence in a Red Deer courtroom Friday after pleading guilty to criminal negligence in January.

Brian Knight, shown outside the Stettler courthouse with his wife in 2009, will to jail for shooting a thief. (CBC)

Justice Monica Bast rejected the defence's argument that the shooting was impulsive, saying she believed Knight was aware to some degree what he was doing.

Knight chased and used a shot gun to fire at a man who was stealing Knight's ATV from his farm near Tees, Alta.

In the early morning of March 26, 2009, Knight found three men in his farmyard.

He jumped out of bed and gave chase clad in boxer shorts and rubber boots to a man riding Knight's all-terrain vehicle.

Knight rammed the ATV with his car and, when the man abandoned the machine and began running, Knight pulled out a shotgun, firing two rounds at him, police said.

The man, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, was eventually caught after Knight called friends and relatives to help in the search, police said.

Must send message, says Crown

Crown prosecutor Jason Snider recommended Knight be sent to jail for 90 days to be served intermittently.

Snider told Justice Bast the shooting was a vigilante act and the court must send a message that behavior of this sort is wrong.

However Knight's lawyer, Balfour Der, argued the shooting was not a vigilante act, but a spontaneous reaction.

Knight did not shoot to the man to kill or hurt him, but merely wanted to scare him, Der said.

Knight's sentence will be served on weekends beginning after the Thanksgiving weekend.