Malibu Man Accused of Shooting Neighbor Pleads Not Guilty

Patrick Kearns Leach is accused of shooting his neighbor during a dispute on a driveway they share on Winding Way in Malibu.

A Malibu man accused of shooting his neighbor during a dispute last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempted murder.

Patrick Kearns Leach, 27, is also charged with one count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm in connection with the Jan. 9 shooting of his neighbor on a driveway the two share on West Winding Way.

The victim, 49-year-old Eric Shanks, was shot in the chest with a .45-caliber pistol.

Leach is free on $1 million bail while awaiting his next appearance in Van Nuys Superior Court March 18, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.

Leach is the son of the co-creator of the PBS show "Barney and Friends," and Sheryl Leach, a former school teacher in Texas.

hellwood February 06, 2013 at 05:59 AM
maybe eric called him a barney?
John February 06, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Glad the guy is still alive. A 45 to the chest is no joke. I also hope he can go on with the rest of his life healthily. Even though he is still alive he could have a lifetime of complications.
Alexandra February 07, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Well said Jody & John.The bail should have been set as no bail.It is outrageous that Patrick Leach is out at all. Erick identified him, police arrested him on Kanen ... weapon still in the car, 20 minutes later due to Erick and others calling 911.Patrick's attorney pulled a fast one to have the arraignment called early, without notifying others involved. When you look up the attorney's client reviews, they are so called child molestors, drunk drivers, domestic violence offenders, 3-strikers, etc, who all thank him profusely for getting them off, without them serving 1 day in jail! Good grief! It also says that he is well known & liked among all of the judges in the Van Nuys court system. I wondered why it went to Van Nuys, rather than Santa Monica, since we just closed our courts here in Malibu.Blaine & Erick have lived here for over 53 years in a very peaceful, very grateful to be in Malibu existence. Patrick's Mommy has been trying to buy Blaine out. The Leach's stopped trimming the trees & were blocking Blaine's ocean view. All Blaine did was go down to ask Patrick when he was going to trim the trees, Patrick screeched at her to go away from his gate, right near the shared driveway. Erick went there on Wed. 1/9 to ask Patrick not to yell at his Mom, & ask about the trees, but no one was around.Erick went back up to his Mom's house. Then Patrick drove up to Blaines, honked the horn to entice Erick & Blaine out, fired 5 shots, the 1st hit Erick in the chest, & then he fled.
Jody Kern February 08, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Thanks Alexandra. This just makes no sense. The kid comes from Barney money. Should be well-heeled enough. Where does this stupefying disconnect with reality come from? I thought it was odd to go to Van Nuys as well. Is that normal to be allowed bail for an act that screams attempted murder? This kid should be locked up for life.
Full Metal Jacket February 18, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Obviously, more guns would help. Everybody get one now.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »