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Father and son farmers charged with killing armed trespasser

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Rural South Carolina farmers charged with killing an armed trespasser were defending their land and their livestock from an uninvited intruder who arrived with a “deadly weapon,” according to their lawyers.

Ryan Jordan Lindler Sr., 52, and Ryan Lindler Jr., 26, allegedly gunned down neighbor Kevin Lester Newhouse, 36, during a confrontation, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s going to come down to property rights, vandalism, a history of trespassing — the right to defend others,” said attorney Eric Bland, whose law firm Bland Richter is representing the elder Lindler. “All things that property owners guard for and against. People in Lexington County, South Carolina, value their property, and a lot of citizens respect each other’s property.” 

Both father and son intend to fight the charges vigorously, he said. 


The younger Lindler is engaged to be married in three weeks, Bland said, and the trespassing occurred at the home he is building with his fiancée, which is about 85% complete.

“These cases will test the right of a property owner to protect their property from trespassers and vandals, including those who may bring deadly weapons onto the property of another,” Bland Richter said in a statement Tuesday.

The sheriff said over the weekend that the elder Lindler disarmed Newhouse before telling his son to shoot him.

The lindlers pose next to a tractor on their farm.

“Over the course of their investigation, which included interviews with both Lindlers and witnesses, detectives determined the elder Lindler told his son to shoot the victim,” Lexington Sheriff Jay Koon said in a statement. “The shooting happened after the elder Lindler had taken a machete away from the victim, who was unarmed when he was shot and lived near the Lindlers on Seleta Circle.”

Newhouse tried to get into his house before the shooting, but the elder Lindler allegedly blocked him from doing so, according to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

The younger Lindler told police Newhouse swung the machete at him and his father, striking each of them during the altercation, according to an incident report from the sheriff’s office.

That’s when Lindler Jr. is accused of firing three to four rounds from a Glock handgun. At least one shot fatally struck Newhouse in the head, according to the incident report.

Read the incident report (Mobile users go here)

Both the handgun and a machete were recovered during a search of his truck, according to a series of warrants in the case. 

Both men face murder and weapons charges and were being held without bail at the Lexington County Detention Center. They have bond hearings scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m., Bland told Fox News Digital.

Bland, whose firm represented several victims of the convicted killer and fraudster Alex Murdaugh, said the Lindlers have been “longtime law-abiding citizens” who grow hay and raise cattle in the rural community. Newhouse lived near their farm.


Read the arrest warrants (Mobile users go here)

“They’re father and son who have zero criminal background,” he told Fox News Digital. “Both of them graduated from Gilbert High School. The son has had no, nothing ever in his background ever, other than a speeding ticket. Not even a detention at school.”

“A great deal transpired” between the alleged trespassing on the Lindlers’ property and the deadly confrontation with Newhouse, he said.

Authorities did not release specifics of the altercation, and the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The Lindlers operate Lindler Farms, a state-certified, family-run range specializing in beef, hay and foraging. 


Lindler Sr. also works for South Carolina Electric and Gas and Dominion Energy. His wife works in the local school district. 

“This is a tragedy all the way around, not only [Newhouse] and his family, but for the Lindlers and their family,” Bland said. 

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