Honey Oil Lab Suspect Pleads Not Guilty - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Honey Oil Lab Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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PALM SPRINGS, Ca. -

A Palm Springs man accused of operating a honey oil lab out of his home pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of manufacturing controlled substances.

Shawn Edward Ziegler, 44, was arrested Aug. 29 on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and negligent discharge of a firearm, after Palm Springs police responded to reports of a fight and a shooting near his home in the 2700 block of San Marino Road.

Police alleged Ziegler pistol-whipped a man and fired multiple shots at his feet during an argument.

Ziegler was formally charged in October with manufacturing controlled substances, with a sentence-enhancing allegation of personal use of a firearm.

According to Palm Springs Sgt. William Hutchinson, no one was injured in the gunfire, but police discovered the honey oil lab in the residence when they arrived at the home.

Officers found Ziegler sitting in his front yard with head trauma, which he said he sustained in a fight with a man who came to his house and struck him in the head with a metal object, according to police.

An investigation revealed that Ziegler had argued with an unidentified acquaintance ``over the phone over money and property,'' according to the PSPD. The acquaintance later showed up at Ziegler's home, where the two men continued arguing, police said.

Ziegler then allegedly grabbed a handgun and threatened the man by firing the gun near his feet, according to Hutchinson. He also allegedly grabbed the man by the throat and pistol-whipped him in the head, causing the gun to accidentally discharge, the sergeant said.

The victim, who was later hospitalized for what were described as moderate injuries, ran from the scene, jumped into a passerby's truck and waited for police to arrive, the sergeant said.

A witness also alleged that Ziegler was seen striking himself in the head and face with a metal object before officers' arrival, possibly to make it look like he'd been attacked by the victim.

Ziegler is due back in court Feb. 3 for a felony settlement conference. He has no felony convictions in Riverside County, according to court records.

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