Crime

He fired at a thief but hit a neighbor. Now he’s pleaded guilty in her death

Bonney Lake woman hit by stray bullet fired at fleeing car thief

A Bonney Lake woman lying in her bed was critically injured late Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, when a neighbor a block away fired his pistol at a fleeing car thief.
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A Bonney Lake woman lying in her bed was critically injured late Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, when a neighbor a block away fired his pistol at a fleeing car thief.

A man who fatally shot his Bonney Lake neighbor while aiming at a vehicle thief pleaded guilty Monday in the death.

Pierce County prosecutors charged 41-year-old Tobin Hugh Panton with first-degree manslaughter last year for shooting Linda Green.

He pleaded guilty to the charge Monday in Superior Court.

According to court records and investigators:

Panton fired shots in his Prairie Ridge neighborhood after he got out of the shower and saw someone driving off in his Jeep.

He fired at the fleeing vehicle in the 12300 block of Prairie Ridge Drive East until his .40-caliber Glock was empty, he told investigators.

One of those bullets hit Green in the head after it went through a window of her home in the 12400 block of Prairie Ridge Drive East.

Her son initially thought the head wound was from a fall, and called 911. When first responders arrived they determined it was from a gunshot. Green died from the wound.

Tobin’s sentencing is set for Sept. 8. He faces a standard range of 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years in prison.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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