A Kentucky judge has determined that William Merideth was within his rights when he pulled out a shotgun and shot down a drone that was allegedly spying on his family.
A Bullitt County District Court Judge has dismissed all charges against a man who shot down a drone he said was flying over his property.
The court hearing for William Merideth began Monday afternoon. He shot down a drone in Hillview earlier this year.
Merideth said the operator was violating his privacy and spying on his family, but Hillview police arrested Merideth for firing his gun within city limits and charged him with wanton endangerment.
Monday’s hearing in Bullitt County lasted just over two hours and based on the judge’s ruling, William Merideth says he feels vindicated.
“Was it handled the right way, I don’t think so but justice came out in the end,” said Merideth.
It’s what he’s been saying all along, since shooting down David Boggs’ drone in July. Meredith says it was hovering over his Hillview property and he thought it was spying on his family.
“I was in my right to protect my family and my property,” said Merideth.
“Do you also agree that you chose to allow that drone to hover over some of those people’s property there on Earlywood Way?” said Merideth’s Attorney.
“No that’s not true,” replied Boggs.
During Monday’s hearing, Boggs testified that flight data showed the drone was flying higher than Meredith stated. But Judge Rebecca Ward says that since at least two witnesses could see the drone below the tree line, it was an invasion of privacy.
“He had a right to shoot at this drone, and I’m gonna dismiss this charge,” said Ward.
Judge Ward dismissed both charges against Merideth including criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.
“Drone rights” advocates are outraged by the incident, as they accept Boggs’ claim that the drone wasn’t flying low and wasn’t over Merideth’s property. There was no actual evidence to support Bogg’s claim, as he said the SD card from the drone’s flight was “missing.”
I’d like to know how Merideth shot down the drone with a shotgun in his back yard if Boggs’ claim was remotely true. Another resident with a teen-aged daughter in the area said that a camera-equipped drone hovered nearby while she was laying out beside the pool earlier this summer.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Judge Ward suspected Boggs of being what some call “a creeper” who was using technology to be a long-distance voyeur.
I’d caution Bearing Arms readers that this singular ruling does not mean it’s open season on drones, and I actually suspect that this outcome will be the exception, rather than the rule.