SAN DIEGO — A woman who fired a shot through the front door of her next-door neighbors’ apartment in Clairemont Mesa after they complained about loud noises and yelling coming from her residence was convicted Tuesday of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and other charges.
Brittany Lefler faces up to 36 years in prison when she is sentenced July 23, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Reilly.
“This case is about an angry neighbor,” Reilly told the jury, which deliberated about 2 1/2 hours before finding Lefler guilty of four assault counts and one count each of making a criminal threat, shooting at an inhabitated dwelling and child abuse.
The prosecutor said Lefler had been drinking and was “out of control” and “verbally abusive” after Erick Morales called police about 1 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2016.
Morales and her roommates told police that Lefler, now 37, kept banging on the wall and screaming in her apartment on Beadnell Way.
When officers responded, Lefler wanted to know who called the police on her, according to body-worn camera evidence presented at her trial.
Morales’ 19-year-old son said at one point he went outside and asked Lefler to “keep it down,” but she reached into her boot and pulled out what looked like a gun and he ran back inside.
“She (Lefler) said, `C’mon outside, I’ll bust a cap in you,”‘ Henry Molina testified.
The witness said he had overheard Lefler telling police that she kept a gun for “things like this.”
After he shut the door around 5 a.m., Molina testified that he heard another bang and his mother said, “She’s shooting. She’s shooting,” referring to Lefler.
Reilly told the jury that Lefler pointed her gun at the people in Morales’ apartment — including her boyfriend and her 11-year-old daughter — before pulling the trigger.
“She (Lefler) did it on purpose,” the prosecutor said. “In a moment of anger and fury, she shot through that front door. Ms. Lefler sent a message with a bullet through that front door. She can’t do that!”
Deputy Alternate Public Defender Gilson Gray told the jury that Lefler called 911 multiple times that night, but police did not help her.
Lefler was home alone, scared and outnumbered by her complaining neighbors, Gray said. He told the jury that Lefler was “practicing” pole dancing inside her residence.
Both sides were yelling at each other and Lefler fired the shot accidentally when a door suddenly slammed, according to Gray.