VISTA (CNS) - A De Luz woman who shot and wounded a neighbor during a confrontation over a disputed easement road between their rural properties northwest of Fallbrook was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison.
Alyce Ann Copeland, 64, pleaded guilty earlier this year to an attempted murder charge and firearm and great bodily injury allegations.
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Sheriff's officials said Copeland was sitting in a chair on the contested right-of-way in the 42200 block of Tenaja Truck Trail, blocking it, when 65-year-old Thomas Wessels and his wife Kathleen drove up shortly before 5 p.m. last July 10.
The couple got out of their car and asked Copeland why she was obstructing the drive, which all three use to get to their homes. Following a brief exchange, Copeland reached into her waistband, pulled out a pistol and shot Wessels in the abdomen.
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Thomas Wessels testified at a preliminary hearing last year that since he had a previous run-in with Copeland, he grabbed his camera when the incident happened last July 10 and recorded the violent confrontation.
Despite his wound, Wessels was able to wrest away the weapon and subdue Copeland by hitting her on the head with the butt of the gun, according to sheriff's officials. His wife then drove him to a hospital.
Copeland was treated in an emergency room for a minor scalp injury before being booked into jail.
The incident apparently stemmed from an ongoing feud between the Wessels and Copeland's sister and brother-in-law over who can use the access road.
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