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Man on Trial Shoots 2, Kills Self

October 20, 2000

YREKA, Calif. (AP) _ A man accused of sexual assault pulled a gun in a courthouse hallway Friday and shot one of his alleged victims and her husband, then killed himself as sheriff’s deputies closed in.

The jury had just begun deliberations in the case against Edward Lansdale, 68, when he fired two shots into Amber Pearce, an Oklahoma woman who was brought to Yreka to testify against him.

Pearce’s husband, Jeffrey, also was wounded.

Husband and wife, both 26, were hospitalized in stable condition. Amber Pearce was shot in the abdomen, her husband in the leg.

Lansdale fatally shot himself in the head on a stairway landing at the Siskiyou County Courthouse, authorities said.

Lansdale had been on trial all week, charged with taking two girls into his home when they were teens and having sexual intercourse. Amber Pearce was 14 at the time.

Lansdale faced nearly 60 years in prison if convicted of all charges. He was free on bail during the trial.

Prosecutor Bill Davis said Landsdale ``went into the bathroom right after he left the courtroom and then he came out with the gun.″

Undersheriff Mike Lyon said there are airport-like metal detectors used outside two of the three courtrooms. Officers also use portable metal detectors at the third courtroom.

There are no detectors at the courthouse entrance, Lyon said, because officials decided it would be too costly and an ``inconvenience to the general public.″

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