Malibu man pleads not guilty in attempted murder case

A Malibu resident accused of shooting his neighbor last month was arraigned Tuesday on charges of attempted murder and assault, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He pleaded not guilty.

Patrick Leach, 27, was arrested Jan. 9 after allegedly shooting his neighbor, 49-year-old Eric Shanks, during a dispute characterized as a “trespassing issue,” according to Det. Tom Lewis, the investigating officer on the case. After being detained at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff ’s Station, Leach posted $1 million bail and left the jail on the day of the incident. 

“It was alleged in the complaint that the defendant used a handgun to commit the crime and that the victim suffered great bodily injury,” a press release from the DA’s office said. 

Leach was arraigned in Van Nuys Superior Court and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 18. If convicted on both counts, Leach could face a maximum of life in prison with the possibility of parole. 

It was later revealed that Leach inspired his mother, Sheryl Leach, to create the children’s television program “Barney & Friends.” 

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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