The ongoing criminal case against an 84-year-old Anderson woman accused of shooting a gun toward her neighbors during a dispute over loud noise came to a halt Tuesday after she failed to show up for a Shasta County Superior Court hearing.
Betty Frances Sanders was unable to make it to court because she’s been hospitalized in the Santa Rosa area, defense attorney Russell Swartz said.
Swartz provided a letter to Superior Court Judge Cara Beatty detailing the reasons why Sanders failed to appear, prompting Beatty to voice concern.
“It looks as if everything is happening at once,” she said, calling it “unfortunate.”
Beatty authorized the issuance of a $100,000 bench warrant for Sanders, but ordered it to be held until her next court hearing, which is set for July 17.
Swartz declined after court to disclose the nature of the elderly woman’s health, but said it’s likely she will need to be placed in a long-term care facility once she’s discharged from the hospital.
He also said her elderly husband, William, has been placed in a medical care facility, adding they have both been dealing with medical issues, as well as a lot of stress from the court case and the recent death of their son.
It was in March when the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Sanders charging her with six felonies, including assault with a firearm, child abuse and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.
It’s alleged she fired a round from a .32-caliber revolver toward her neighbors and three young children during a dispute over loud noise.
She pleaded not guilty in April and remains out of jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
According to a five-page sheriff’s investigative report filed in Superior Court, Sanders and her husband had been upset in the past with her neighbors over their children, ranging in age from 11 to 9, riding dirt bikes in a field next to their property.
But tempers boiled over on the day of the Feb. 9 dispute.
“We should castrate people like you,” William Sanders allegedly yelled at Jeremy and Angela Rollins, parents of two of the three children riding their dirt bikes on their own land that day, the report said.
Jeremy and Angela Rollins told deputies their two children, as well as a young friend of one of their children, were riding dirt bikes on their Dot Lane property during the early evening hours when William and Betty Sanders came out of their next door residence.
Sanders complained about the children being too noisy, but Rollins and her husband said they did not believe the noise was unreasonable considering the hour.
Deputies said it escalated into a loud argument.
At one point, Sanders drew a handgun from underneath her clothing and fired one round while holding the gun in a “hip” position with her elbow next to her side and her arm bent at a 90-degree angle near her abdomen, the sheriff’s report says.
Jeremy and Angela Rollins said they believed the round went directly above their heads and they retreated to their residence with the children and called 911.
No one was injured.
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