Neighborhood feud over a too-bright security light ends in murder-suicide, authorities say

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Dec. 30 2021, Published 9:09 a.m. ET

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An ongoing dispute between two neighbors in Florida feuding over a bright security light ended in a murder-suicide, police said.

On Dec. 27 around 12:30 p.m., Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Timothy Patch, 62, shot to death in the driveway of his home in Paisley, the Daily Commercial reported.

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At the house next door, deputies discovered the body of Eric Martin Hilderbrand, 61, dead in a chair from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to the publication, Lake County code limits the brightness of any light that crosses a property’s line and states “all outside residential lighting fixtures shall be designed and arranged so as not to interfere with the enjoyment of neighboring properties, residents, or the safety of neighboring roads.”

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Last October, Anita Braddock, who lived with her brother, Hilderbrand, lodged a complaint about Patch’s security light with Lake County Code Enforcement.

The light, Braddock reportedly claimed, was shined directly into her home and exceeded the limit allowed by local law.

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A code enforcement officer took multiple measures of Patch’s light, which was found to be three times in excess of the allowed limit, according to records.

Patch was given 14 days to bring the light up to code or face fines, and the case was closed in mid-December after Braddock told officials he had switched it off.

Authorities said that on day of the men's deaths, the two had been arguing in Patch’s driveway when Hilderbrand shot Patch multiple times and then took his own life.


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