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Layton homeowner who fired his gun at two burglars makes plea deal

LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Clare Niederhauser walked out of a Layton courtroom Tuesday with a little less to worry about. Attorneys reduced charges against Niederhauser for firing his gun at two burglars fleeing from his home.
LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Clare Niederhauser walked out of a Layton courtroom Tuesday with a little less to worry about. Attorneys reduced charges against Niederhauser for firing his gun at two burglars fleeing from his home.

"We're happy we got this concluded," said Mitch Vilos, Niederhauser’s Defense Attorney.

Before Tuesday's proceedings Niederhauser was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment for firing his gun. Niederhauser said he was trying to stop two burglars who broke into his Layton home back in January.

In the 911 call, Niederhauser said: “I just got a guy at gunpoint here on my driveway breaking and entering, please send somebody immediately.”

911 Operator: “Do you have him detained? Do not, do not shoot him.”

Niederhauser: “You better hurry then."

But when the alleged burglar ran, Niederhauser did shoot. Several of Niederhauser's neighbors felt he was justified.

"I feel like you should be able to protect your home and your family don't you?" said one neighbor.

"He was defending his home and property," said another neighbor.

But according to Layton City Attorneys Niederhauser broke the law.

"We have people like Mr. Niederhauser who are good solid citizens and they get caught up in a course of conduct that ends up being contrary to the law," said Steve Garside, Layton Assist. City Attorney.

So Tuesday attorneys worked out a plea deal to reduce the charges against Niederhauser so he would avoid jail time and an expensive fine.

"We came to a resolution we thought was fair on both sides," said Mitch Vilos, Niederhauser’s Defense Attorney.

His attorney read a statement from Niederhauser who said he learned a valuable lesson.

"To my friends and fellow citizens we do have the right to protect ourselves, but it must be within the parameters of the law… remember we value life more than we value property," said Clare Niederhauser in a statement.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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