Calif. man, 28, faces first-degree murder charge in death of friend fatally shot by homeowner

A 28-year-old Northern California man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his friend, even though he didn't pull the trigger.

Authorities say William Roy Thietje of Redding had repeatedly rammed his van into an ex-girlfriend's car early Sunday when another man fired at the vehicle to stop Thietje from running over a neighbor.

The bullet hit Thietje's friend, 28-year-old Beau Ray Halbert of Redding, who was riding in the passenger seat.

The Redding Record-Searchlight reports ( ) Thietje also has been charged with attempted first-degree burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Shasta County Superior Court.

Authorities identified the man who fatally shot Halbert as Michael Lansdowne, who owns the home that Thietje's former girlfriend was visiting. Lansdowne is not charged with a crime.