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Preston man who shot trespasser gets probation

Crime Watch

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PRESTON — A man who shot a woman and her vehicle after she trespassed has received felony probation.

Jeffrey Elgan, 63, of Preston, was sentenced Dec. 9 by 6th District Judge Mitchell Brown. He has been placed on felony probation for five years and ordered to serve 120 hours of community service.

Prior to sentencing, Elgan reached a plea agreement with the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. As part of the agreement, a felony aggravated battery charge was downgraded to a misdemeanor simple battery. Elgan pleaded guilty to battery as well as malicious injury to property, a felony.

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Elgan was arrested on Aug. 31 following 911 calls from the victim reporting the incident.

Elgan told responding officers that his property, specifically a private road on the property, has had many trespassers. After seeing a trespasser, he pursued them.

The victim, as well as a witness who was in the car at the time of the incident, told officers that they were unaware that the road was private.

Elgan approached the victim and witness after chasing them down on a four-wheeler. And after threatening them and attempting to remove the keys from their vehicle, the two tried to run. Elgan shot at them with a .410 bore shotgun pistol, hitting the vehicle and the driver.

The driver was able to navigate down the hill and off the property, where she was met by Franklin County deputies.

Elgan has been provided an 18-month timeframe in which he must complete his community service. In addition, he has been ordered to pay a total of $2,575 in fines and fees, as well as restitution.

Judgment in the malicious injury to property charge has been withheld, meaning if he is successful on probation, then the conviction could be removed from his criminal record.