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Man guilty of firing gun at golf course

The Baltimore Sun

A golf course owner accused of firing shots near the houses of neighbors who had successfully fought a development plan he favored pleaded guilty in Harford County District Court yesterday to illegally discharging a firearm.

Judge Mimi Cooper told Samuel C. Smedley, 50, the owner of the Wetlands Golf Club, that he had behaved like "a bully."

She fined him $100 and ordered him to attend anger-management classes. She also placed him on a two-year probation, during which he is not allowed to have firearms or ammunition, contact witnesses in the case or permit shooting on the golf course.

He had been charged Nov. 10 with handgun possession in a vehicle, two counts of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct after shots were fired near the Locksley Manor subdivision. He pleaded guilty to firing a gun within 150 yards of a residence.

State police found a revolver, a shotgun, an assault rifle, 377 shotgun shells, 361 rounds of rifle ammunition and several empty rounds and casings in his truck, according to court documents.

Locksley Manor residents opposed a plan that would have resulted in more than 1,000 homes being built on the golf course and adjacent properties. In 2006, a plan by Aberdeen to annex the area was defeated in a city referendum.

Cooper reprimanded Smedley for a behaving like "a petulant child, stomping his feet on the ground. ... You had an arsenal in your vehicle, and you intended to frighten."

Smedley turned to face 10 of his neighbors seated in the courtroom, nine of whom have obtained peace orders against him, and said: "I would like to apologize to my neighbors. I'm very sorry. It won't happen again. It was a mistake in judgment."

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