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Patrick Leach, Barney Creator's Son, Charged With Attempted Murder

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BARNEY CREATORS SON CHARGED
The son of "Barney" creator Sheryl Leach has been charged with attempted murder. Inset is a screen grab from the "Barney & Friends" series. | AP
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The son of the woman behind the popular PBS children's show "Barney & Friends" has been charged with attempted murder.

Patrick Leach, son of Barney creator Sheryl Leach, has been charged with the attempted murder of a 49-year-old man in Malibu, Calif., a representative for the Los Angeles County District Attorney told TMZ.

Leach was also charged with one count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, according to Malibu Patch.

The son of the 61-year-old "Barney" creator pleaded not guilty to attempted murder on Tuesday in connection with the January shooting of his neighbor, Eric Shanks, in a driveway the two share at their luxury residential complex, reports Malibu Patch.

On Jan. 9, Leach was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly shooting Shanks during an argument over a “trespassing issue," the Malibu Times previously reported. Shanks placed the 911 call after being shot.

"The victim was shot by a .45 handgun and was shot in the chest and the bullet went through his chest and out his shoulder," Malibu Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told KABC. Officials say the victim is lucky to be alive.

The "Barney" heir left the scene in a black SUV, but police later spotted the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop before arresting him, California news service The Acorn previously reported.

Leach and Shanks are neighbors on West Winding Way, a gated Malibu street lined with luxury homes, according to the Malibu Times. Leach's mother, an executive producer on "Barney" since the show first aired in the 1990s, was reportedly one of the first on the block and had a residence there for at least 40 years.

He is currently out on $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court next month, according to Malibu Patch. At that time, the court will determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Sheryl, who was reportedly inspired by her son to create "Barney & Friends" in 1987, now lives in Greenwich, Conn.

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