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View Full Version : Road rage shooting - both drivers claim self-defense


Bartholomew Roberts
February 14, 2011, 03:29 AM
Source: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2011/feb/10/drivers-shooting-death-investigated-grand/?partner=yahoo_feeds

Timeline: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2011/feb/10/shooting_timeline/?partner=popular

The parties:

Driver A is the 40-something son of a prominent local family. Loves his pickup truck. No criminal record.

Driver B is the 21yr old son of a local reporter. Has two kids by his girlfriend, going to community college to pursue a criminal justice major. No criminal record. Driving a Mustang.

Facts reported by at least 2 eyewitnesses so far:

Driver A is following Driver B, who has his girlfriend as a passenger. Driver B taps on his brakes. As they come to a gas station Driver B stops for a car turning into the station. Driver A passes him and pulls in front of him at the intersection a short distance away. Both men get out of their cars. There is yelling between the two men and Driver B displays a pistol. Both men get back into their cars. Driver A reverses his pick up truck into Driver B's Mustang and floors it, pushing the Mustang up over a 4-5' wide grass median and into oncoming traffic. Driver A exits his truck and as Driver B exits his vehicle, Driver A shoots him in the head killing him.

I thought this incident was interesting because from a legal perspective (see Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code regarding self-defense (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm), both men felt they were justified in claiming self-defense but neither one has a strong case for it. When Driver B first displays the pistol, there is no evidence of an imminent threat of death or serious injury. However, Driver B does not have to meet that standard since threatening use of deadly force is considered the same as using non-deadly force under Texas law.

Some eyewitness reports allege Driver A fired a shot after exiting the car a second time; but at this point, Driver B will have a difficult time arguing his actions in ramming the Mustang did not provoke/escalate the fight.

From a tactics standpoint, it seems to me that both men lose a lot of important legal protections the moment they step out of their vehicles. In Texas, Castle Doctrine extends to the vehicle. By stepping outside the vehicle, both drivers gain a little mobility (and separation from loved ones for Driver B) but they make it much harder to clearly identify the aggressor.

Would either Driver have been better off just staying in the vehicle in the first confrontation?

Davey
February 14, 2011, 04:12 AM
Me thinks you mixed up Driver A and Driver B. You might wanna give it a once over.

Davey
February 14, 2011, 04:18 AM
After reading the article...

If the pick-up driver got back in his truck and backed into the Mustang why couldn't he have just put the truck in DRIVE and moved FORWARD instead? From reading the article it seems both drivers screwed up big time. The guy in the Mustang could have just driven around the truck or did a three point turn. I'm sure he had several options other than getting out of the car and showing off his gun.

One dead guy and one other guy that, in my opinion based off the information in the article, that should go to prison. Great.

Davey
February 14, 2011, 04:30 AM
Went on Google Maps and pulled up the intersection in question. At least I'm pretty sure this is the intersection. Just go to Google Maps and search for "Sayles Boulevard and South 14th Street, abilene texas"

Anyway, looking at the images got me thinking. It's possible the guy in the Mustang had nowhere to go at the time and he did indeed feel threatened. I'm certain that there is fault with the driver of the pick-up truck though.

Ben Towe
February 14, 2011, 04:47 AM
Am I the only one who feels there is something we don't know? It just seems that something is amiss, some fact isn't being told. The story just doesn't fit together: Man aspiring to be a SWAT team member brandishes gun because he got cut off? Did he think because he was a Criminal Justice major he was a de facto cop? Did he have the movie SWAT playing continually on his big screen? Whatever the reasoning it wasn't a good idea. Not that it lets the other driver off the hook.

BikerRN
February 14, 2011, 05:43 AM
Me thinks there is a lot to this story that we don't know.

The one thing I love is that a vehicle gives one the reasonable ability to flee a dangerous scene, barring traffic or road conditions that prohibit otherwise of course. I say this is one to let the courts figure out.

Biker

flyboyjake
February 14, 2011, 06:36 AM
morons, absolute morons...now a man is dead, and surly another will be in jail for a long time, and over what? A brake check? Some inconsiderate driving? Its stories like these that give the anti-gun crowd some legitimate fuel for their campaign...

TailGator
February 14, 2011, 08:54 AM
If all the reports are true, it is hard to find a good guy in this incident. The guy in the pickup truck, who backed his pickup into the Mustang and pushed it around, obviously had malicious intent when he did that, which makes his claim of self defense with the firearm quite dubious. But the younger guy in the Mustang certainly didn't help the situation if he brandished a firearm early in the incident, before any other overt threat was apparent, as reported by the witness. No winners here.

Skans
February 14, 2011, 09:11 AM
A tale of two idiots.

XD Gunner
February 14, 2011, 09:14 AM
After reading though the accounts, it seems to me to be a pretty clean cut case of murder/manslaughter. Truck driver had the option of driving off, but instead ATTACKED the Mustang driver by ramming his vehicle INTO ONCOMING traffic. Mustang driver should not have pulled a gun to begin with, but I have a hard time believing he did it just for show, Mother of his children in the car and all.

Disclaimer:

I was not there, nor do my observations or opinions matter in the grand scheme of things. It was a terrible tragedy, and I hope justice is served appropriately.

Sarge
February 14, 2011, 09:25 AM
According to some of my 'customers' everything after the first dirty look is self defense.

mrgoodwrench76
February 14, 2011, 09:41 AM
Sounds like a lot of your customers will end up in prison.

Sarge
February 14, 2011, 10:12 AM
A certain number of them do just that.

Ben Towe
February 14, 2011, 03:01 PM
I'm just glad neither of them had concealed carry permits. That would make it look even worse.

Jamie B
February 14, 2011, 03:28 PM
According to some of my 'customers' everything after the first dirty look is self defense.
Somehow that does not surprise me.

I would note, though, that talking tough and being tough are very different.

booker_t
February 14, 2011, 03:35 PM
There's likely quite a bit we don't know here, and that the facts aren't exactly all true. In the end, it doesn't matter. Two idiots with guns got mad and puffed their chests out. One pulled a trigger and the other one is dead. I have a 30-cent solution to the problem of what to do with Driver B.

Oh no, how silly of me. We have a much better solution, 20 years in the federal prison system on the taxpayer's dime, to be rehabilitated.

Goodbye criminal justice degree, goodbye career in law enforcement. Imagine if this wanna-be Commando actually became a cop or prison guard or some other LEO. Hopefully they'd catch him with a polygraph or biometric data test and weed him out.

Now his two kids get to grow up without their father, or knowing that their father is a murderer. Maybe they're better off he's not around. Same could be said for the girlfriend.

Indeed fools like this fuel the gun-control lobby's fire like nothing else. The thing is, it would have been the same if they didn't have guns, there was a road-rage inspired stabbing homicide in Maryland just a couple years ago, similar situation. Stupid people with no self-restraint will find a way to hurt/kill each other.

The difficult part is creating and enforcing gun laws that keep guns out of the hands of those people, and in the hands of responsible, sane, law-abiding citizens who wish to own them.

Talking tough never is. -booker_t

cracked91
February 14, 2011, 04:48 PM
You got Driver A and B mixed up. 21 YO kid is dead.

This is the tale of an idiot, and a murderer.

Someone brandishes a gun at you during a road rage incident, then gets back in his car, so you get back into your truck. So now you know someone has a gun, and you have just escaped a nearly lethal incident, the threat has ended. But whats the next best move in a road rage incident when you know your aggressor has a gun? Don't let that little punk make you swallow humble pie, RAM HIM! Show him what a real mans vehicle can do against a little girl's sports car. Oh <shucks &darn> ! Now he really is gonna shoot you! Time to defend yourself!

This is all speculation, I know I don't have all the facts. But this is just about how it sounds to me, especially being that before I grew up a little, I was guilty of several road rage incidents.

Both parties were extremely stupid, but one party not only forced a vehicle into oncoming traffic (attempted murder of all occupants IMHO), but also pulled the trigger, and after a situation could have ended.

21 YO was the first real aggressor in brandishing the gun, and had 40 YO fired then, he would have had a strong case of self defense. But 40 YO became the aggressor when he refused to let the situation end when it should have, and used his vehicle as a deadly weapon.

Brian Pfleuger
February 14, 2011, 05:17 PM
Stupid is as stupid does.

One stupid is dead, the other stupid will be in jail.

Don't be stupid, especially with a gun.

threegun
February 14, 2011, 06:34 PM
I had a gang banger looking kid stand in the road forcing me to go around in my vehicle. It really ticked me off. The testicles of this guy and all. I slowly went around and we engaged in a serious stare. After I passed I looked in my rear view mirror and he had followed my vehicle with his body. He was facing the opposite direction and cammed his whole body around as if to taunt me. I stopped the vehicle (being young and stupid). As I looked him over through the rear view he lifted his shirt exposing a pistol in his waist. Thankfully my then infant son was there to save me from death or jail as I decided to drive off rather than engage in a gunfight with him in the vehicle.

So I can understand why people make these decisions. As wrong as they are I totally understand the impulse anger and/or embarrassment has on decision making. Sans my boy being in the car I would have either fought the kid or pulled my own firearm after he flashed his.

I called cops and simmered for awhile instead.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 14, 2011, 06:43 PM
One issue is what do you do at the first confrontation? It seems that by staying in the car, you deescalate as well as create a clear line that if crossed, allows you to use deadly force. On the other hand, if Driver A is that upset (and the story doesn't make him seem calm) then you are immobile and trapped with an important loved one right next to you.

Any ideas on how to keep the advantage without getting all the disadvantage?

Brian Pfleuger
February 14, 2011, 06:55 PM
Any ideas on how to keep the advantage without getting all the disadvantage?

Drive away.

Back off and get away from someone who "brake checks" you.

Don't brake check people.

Control your temper?

Don't carry a gun if you can't control your temper.

Take anger management training if you can't control your temper.

There is simply no excuse for "opting-in" to a violent confrontation. Violence is for when we can no longer opt-out.

kaylorinhi
February 14, 2011, 07:14 PM
I think the number thing I see is the vehicle of choice for 21 yo male, not that I think all should drive suburban's but having a vehicle with a real bumper capable of taking that hit would help. Second, always leave yourself an escape route, distance equals time. Third, treat your gun like a uchigatana, only remove it from it's scabbbard if you really mean to use it ie: willing to kill, it not for show or threatening.

Marlin009
February 14, 2011, 07:22 PM
Peetzakilla -

Drive away.

Back off and get away from someone who "brake checks" you.

Don't brake check people.

Control your temper?

Don't carry a gun if you can't control your temper.

Take anger management training if you can't control your temper.

There is simply no excuse for "opting-in" to a violent confrontation. Violence is for when we can no longer opt-out.



Bingo! Idiots with guns, it rarely ends well.

Glenn Bartley
February 14, 2011, 07:22 PM
I thought this incident was interesting because from a legal perspective (see Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code regarding self-defense, both men felt they were justified in claiming self-defense but neither one has a strong case for it.
put it in bold and underlined it but that is a word for word quote from the first post in this thread. Am I missing something kn the meaning of what you wrote? Wasn't one of the men in the altercation killed? How is it that now you say he is claiming self defense, I mean you did say both men felt justified in claiming self defense. I just don't get it.

As for the shooting, it is, in all likelihood murder or at least man slaughter. The guy who was killed did have a gun out but apparently put it away and got back into his car. The incident was over except that the guy in the pick up then escalated it and attacked twice with deadly force, once with his vehicle and then again with his gun. Then again, if Mr. David still had his gun exposed when he got back in the car and was still pointing it at the driver of the PU truck, well that could make a lot of difference and it could be found to have been a justifiable homicide. My bet though is that the sympathy vote goes to the dead guy who was a wanna be SWAT member (then again that could sway a Grand Jury in favor of the other guy).

The dead guy's family may try to say he was acting in self defense against the guy in the pick up so that they can claim any insurance but the dead man himself - well he is not about to claim anything and you have no way of knowing what he would have claimed had he not been shot.

All the best,
GB

Crazy88Fingers
February 14, 2011, 08:42 PM
"Would either Driver have been better off just staying in the vehicle in the first confrontation?"

It seems like they both would have been better off just staying in bed that morning.


Clearly, the whole story isn't in writing yet. But it's obvious they both entered a stupid contest, and the guy in the truck won.

*EDIT*
Also, they both forfeited the right to claim self-defense when they got out of their cars to yell at each other. At that point, they both became aggressors.

Brian Pfleuger
February 14, 2011, 09:00 PM
it's obvious they both entered a stupid contest, and the guy in the truck won.

I'd wager that by the time this plays out he will not likely feel like he won anything.

Catfishman
February 14, 2011, 10:06 PM
Don't carry a gun if you can't control your temper.


People should take this to heart. If carrying a gun makes you feel tougher and more willing to engage in a confrontation, you really shouldn't carry, in fact you should probably sell your guns.

Guns aren't for everybody, if you have a short fuse, don't put youself in a bad situation.

These guys may have been average joes.

therewolf
February 14, 2011, 10:47 PM
Well, it certainly looks like both drivers A&B are going to be spending a lot of time "separated" from loved ones NOW.

I feel really special. My vehicle must be THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD
with
-cushy, soft seats

-personal sound system

-climate control

It's the most comfortable environment I'll be in ALL DAY.
I feel sorry for the rest of you guys, you're all in SUCH A RUSH,
the interiors of your cars must SUCK, you're all in such a hurry to get to
point B.:confused:

Rufus T Firefly
February 14, 2011, 10:48 PM
Other than one driver tapping his brakes the rest is all defenseless. For tapping your breaks, when has that been illegal? I personally would have slowed and let the guy pass. Wave him on politely. He if is having that bad of a day, why escalate the situation? Now, if I could only get my girlfriend to do that, we would be safe. Of course she does not have a PTC to lose if things go south.

XD Gunner
February 14, 2011, 10:48 PM
I think the number thing I see is the vehicle of choice for 21 yo male, not that I think all should drive suburban's but having a vehicle with a real bumper capable of taking that hit would help.

Yeah, because car choice has so much to do with this scenario. I've never had to worry about anything remotely as dangerous as this scenario in my Mustang, why? I don't know, I've never pulled a gun on anyone for passing me before for starters, I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.

You could insert any 2 vehicles of your choosing in this scenario and it still ends up with one getting killed because neither knew how to grow up.

Frank Ettin
February 15, 2011, 12:19 AM
I suspect that the shooter will be indicted and claim self defense at his trial. It'll be interesting to see how his lawyer tells the story and makes the pitch for justification. But from little information we have, it looks like a mutual fight to me; and that would torpedoe any self defense plea.

Sport45
February 15, 2011, 01:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy88Fingers
it's obvious they both entered a stupid contest, and the guy in the truck won.
I'd wager that by the time this plays out he will not likely feel like he won anything.


I think you misread. He didn’t win a contest that was stupid. He won the contest of being the most stupid. ;)

At least that’s the way I read it.

I think the driver of the Mustang was within his rights in “brake checking” or whatever you call it when he was tapping the brakes. That’s pretty much a universal signal for, “hey, I’m not comfortable with you following that close.” Getting out with a gun wasn’t too bright, but Mr Pickup had already been demonstrating aggression by tailgating and approaching Mr Mustang when they were stopped.

ojibweindian
February 15, 2011, 06:39 AM
The shooter is screwed. No grand jury is going to buy a self defense claim. I wouldn't. I wonder if the idiot thinks his pride was worth a good 10-20 years (or worse) in prison?

Skans
February 15, 2011, 08:32 AM
Anytime you decide to get out of your car to confront someone, no matter how big of an idiot he's being, you just stepped into some bad doodoo. You have a much better tactical advantage of being inside of a vehicle. You can choose to drive off in any direction, or you can decide to take cover inside of your vehicle if you are being fired upon. By leaving your vehicle in this type of situation, you are giving up your tactical advantage, giving up your ability to drive away, and giving up a pretty solid legal defense if you are forced to use your firearm.

ATW525
February 15, 2011, 08:44 AM
I think the driver of the Mustang was within his rights in “brake checking” or whatever you call it when he was tapping the brakes.

I hate tailgaters as much as the next guy, but there's absolutely no "right" to brake check. It can cause serious or even fatal accidents, or as in this case, serve to further escalate road rage.

Skans
February 15, 2011, 09:01 AM
I don't have any problem tailgateing slow-pokes who ride in the left on the highway. But, I also don't mind getting brake-checked either - comes with the territory. I admit, when I'm on the road for 8 hours straight, I'm looking to do a hair under 80mph and make time, and it is anoying when slow-pokes who are jut a bump-bump'n along get in my way.

But, if I got mad at every idiot on the road, or everyone who brake-checked me for tailgating them I wouldn't be long for this world.

Brian Pfleuger
February 15, 2011, 10:10 AM
Tailgating and brake checking are BOTH bad joo-joo.

There is no need for either and there are universally acceptable ways of signaling other drivers to avoid doing such.


Don't tailgate. Flash your headlights from a reasonable distance. MOST people will move over. If they don't, tailgating them will just make them angry, or they're oblivious and it will just make YOU angry. Don't make people angry. Slow down and wait for an opportunity to pass them.

If someone tailgates you on the highway, get out of the way if you can (getting out of the way BEFORE they tailgate you is better), speed up if it's safe to do so and move over OR SLOW DOWN (slowly, without braking) if it's safe to do so and move over. Don't brake check people. It's not safe and it's illegal.

Inhimwelive
February 15, 2011, 10:46 AM
I don't see anything to be confused about ... The shooter initiated the confrontation.. Then he used his truck to attack possibly with the intent to kill.. At any point he could have left.. Then he gets out and shoots the guy.. Whether the victim had any weapon at all seems to be a moot point.. All I see is the shooter murdered him in a road rage.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 15, 2011, 12:05 PM
We were talking about this yesterday and it certainly isn't good evidence for the upcoming campus carry debate in Texas. Young folks, CJ - in school, with guns and a total lack of emotional control and smarts.

After the Naples guy!

Geez.

Brian Pfleuger
February 15, 2011, 01:21 PM
Young folks, CJ - in school, with guns and a total lack of emotional control and smarts.

Is there a general consensus in your discussions that the young person is largely at fault here? I'm curious because it seems to me like age is a moot point, being that it appears, from what information we have, that two people both acted equally stupidly... one being 21, the other 40-something.

MLeake
February 15, 2011, 02:40 PM
... I would put much more blame on the 40yo.

One poster indicated he google-satellite-mapped what he thinks to be the intersection where the 21yo exited his vehicle, and that if it was the right intersection, then it's very possible the 21yo's Mustang was physically blocked in by the truck.

If that were the case, I wonder if everybody would be saying, "stay in the car."

The reason I ask that is because I've always been taught that if a vehicle is immobilized, it's the LAST place you want to be for a confrontation. You lose all mobility, and make a sitting target; meanwhile, your driver's door and window won't stop most rounds.

So, if the Mustang was actually blocked, then exiting the car may not have been "aggression" on the part of the 21yo, but a precaution. Same with his display of a weapon.

Also, the initial write-up indicated that the 21yo's "brake check" was caused by him slowing to allow another car to make a turn, not a "brake check" in the sense of flipping an automotive bird at the 40yo.

Those statements and assumptions could have been wrong, in which case I'd say they both screwed up, but I'd still assign more blame to the 40yo. But if those statements and assumptions were accurate, I'd accept a self-defense claim from the decedent, had he survived.

Mr. James
February 15, 2011, 03:17 PM
Did he have the movie SWAT playing continually on his big screen?

I'm thinking Training Day.

Molina asks David, "What are you thinking?"


Sounds like the only adult involved.

As to the rest, peetzakilla pretty much covered the waterfront.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 15, 2011, 03:58 PM
My point was that the 21 year will be used as a specific example of bad behavior in an upcoming debate that would extend carry rights to a situation with such young folk.

The 40 year old could be used as an example of stupid CHLs in general. However, current legislation isn't affecting them.

Who's to blame wasn't my focus, rather it was the PR aspects.

cracked91
February 15, 2011, 04:13 PM
What I still can't understand is why the other guy was not detained.

Im going to be really disappointed if this guy gets let off the hook.

BGutzman
February 15, 2011, 06:02 PM
Stupid hurts everyone.... The antis are just awaiting..

SwampYankee
February 15, 2011, 06:03 PM
When someone aggressively tailgates me, I calmly pull over to the side of the road and let them pass. I don't look at them as they pass and simply wait for them to achieve distance. As a rule, I never tailgate, no matter how slow the person in front of me is going. These two simply procedures assure that I will never run into idiots like these. And after 300,000 miles under my belt, I never have. Defensive driving is just another form of self defense.

Glenn Bartley
February 16, 2011, 09:01 AM
You can choose to drive off in any direction, or you can decide to take cover inside of your vehicle if you are being fired upon. You think that staying in a car, offers great cover if you are being shot at? You think you can always drive off in any direction? What about being in traffic or in a tunnel or on a bridge or in an enclosed parking lot with limited space. If your car is boxed in and you cannot drive off do you think you should remain in the vehicle if someone is shooting at you? Think of how limited are your options if you remain in the car. Think of what poor cover much, if not most, of a car provides.

Try setting up car doors at a range and shoot at them with even a pea shooter round like 9mm. See what happens, maybe you will change your mind. While you are in the vehicle, hoping a guy shooting at you from outside keeps hitting the engine block, bear in mind that once he walks around to the side and starts shooting through the doors, you no longer have cover from a wide variety of rounds. If there are 2 guys shooting at you and they flank the car, what are you going to do to improve your chances of survival then remembering your car is boxed in or maybe that they just put 10 rounds into your engine block and it is not running. Of course, if some jerk jumps out of his car and tries to shoot you and your car is not boxed in, well then maybe you can escape or maybe even run down the threat but to choose staying in your vehicle to use it as cover in a gunfight, not if there chance I can get out of it without being shot first.

In the particular incident in question though, it would have been much better if they had both remained in their vehicles. It would also have been better if they had exhibited calmness and if both had driven courteously. It would also have been better to just give one another the finger and drive away if they had to get mad at one another.

All the best,
Glenn B

Glenn Bartley
February 16, 2011, 09:03 AM
What I still can't understand is why the other guy was not detained.

Im going to be really disappointed if this guy gets let off the hook. Because there probably is much more to this story and the police are aware of it and you are not and they based their decision to let him walk based up what they know.

All the best,
GB

bikerbill
February 16, 2011, 09:48 AM
Both drivers in the wrong ... this is classic road rage, and the death of the motorist could have obviously been avoided if both men had simply driven away instead of pulling the macho man routine ... guns are there to help you solve life-threatening situations, not to blow away somebody who offended you in traffic ...

Skans
February 16, 2011, 09:48 AM
You think that staying in a car, offers great cover

Perhaps I should have said "most of the time" rather than "anytime". Most of the time, staying in your car is going to be the right tactical move. Most times when folks get out of their cars it's simply to puff their chests and start fights. I really don't think too many armed folks are going to actually find themselves boxed in to the point that it is advantageous to leave their vehicle. My vehicle is a Jeep with 4wd and good sized tires - I'm going to be able to go over just about anything, other than other cars to get away. If I was driving a Prius....well, that might be completely different.:D

geetarman
February 16, 2011, 10:09 AM
I think if that situation had played out for me, I would not be the first one out of the car. I would have driven off and called 911. If the other driver pursued me after that, I would prepare for the worst.

If you have a chance to defuse the situation and don't, I would not think the court would smile at you.

Either way, a life is lost and another life pretty much hosed.

Not good.

Geetarman:D

micromontenegro
February 16, 2011, 10:19 AM
I don't know, I see things a little different than most posters. From the meager info we have- and it is really meager- I think the whole stupid string of incidents would have come to nothing tragic if the 21 YO had not brandished the gun.

With that, I am not taking away any of the 40 YO's stupidity and provoking. But it was the 21 YO who unnecessarily escalated things to guns.

I think the defendant's lawyers will claim he acted in self defense both in the ramming of the mustang and in the shooting, as he was panic-stricken by the sight of the gun. And long shot as it is, they might get away with it.

Brian Pfleuger
February 16, 2011, 10:32 AM
I think the defendant's lawyers will claim he acted in self defense both in the ramming of the mustang and in the shooting, as he was panic-stricken by the sight of the gun. And long shot as it is, they might get away with it.


I'm sure the lawyers will try something like that but if the facts come out to be even REMOTELY close to what we have so far that will never fly.

There is no way that ramming a vehicle that is behind you at a light, stationary, with all associated persons inside is self defense unless their actually SHOOTING at you.


The descriptions of the 21yr old by his own family is quite telling.... "fearless and lived on the edge". What kind of person does that bring to mind? My opinion, that's the loving family's way of saying he never backed down and was aggressive and adversarial.... because that's the typical behavior of people I've known that have been described that way.

I suspect that descriptions of the shooter would be similar. Hot head meets hot head. One ends up dead.

Don't be a hot head. Don't hang out with people who are hotheads.

geetarman
February 16, 2011, 10:41 AM
Good advice about the hotheads. Sometimes though, you do not realize who the hothead is.

Case in point, the band I am in was playing one Sunday in church, and one of the parishioners went to take communion. He printed and the bass player saw it.

After that service, he came up to me and asked what I thought about someone carrying in church. He was HOT!

I explained to him that the person in question, is a serving deputy sheriff.

He came to church from work and did not have a large enough shirt to adequately shield the weapon.

Just like a faucet, the anger was turned off. I have NEVER seen a person get so angry, so fast in my life. Those kinds of folks are all around us and you just don't know who they are. What is worse, you do not know what will set them off.

Geetarman:D

Casimer
February 16, 2011, 10:50 AM
Read the articles if you're going to comment. The OP's account is a little confused.

I don't see a legitimate basis to the SD claim by the shooter. This seems like a straight-up murder. The fact that the victim had brandished a firearm before disengaging the initial encounter doesn't allow the perpetrator to then pursue and trap the victim in order shoot him in the head, in the course of 'self defense'. It not even apparent that the victim had his gun in hand when exiting his vehicle the second time. I'm guessing that the initial brandishing incident is what has muddied the waters, enabling an SD claim.

ATW525
February 16, 2011, 10:55 AM
I don't know, I see things a little different than most posters. From the meager info we have- and it is really meager- I think the whole stupid string of incidents would have come to nothing tragic if the 21 YO had not brandished the gun.

With that, I am not taking away any of the 40 YO's stupidity and provoking. But it was the 21 YO who unnecessarily escalated things to guns.

I think the defendant's lawyers will claim he acted in self defense both in the ramming of the mustang and in the shooting, as he was panic-stricken by the sight of the gun. And long shot as it is, they might get away with it.

I don't disagree. I think the truck driver was stupid for getting out and yelling at at the guy in the mustang, but the 21 year old seems to have completely overreacted by getting out and threatening the guy with a gun. He wasn't being shot at, he was being yelled at, and he should have stayed in the car and called 911.

As for whether the 40 year old gets away with it, I suspect it will depend what the situation looks like when all the facts are known. For instance, was truck blocked in by traffic? How did he appear react to having a gun pointed at him? Did it enrage him further or did he appear to be afraid for his life?

Brian Pfleuger
February 16, 2011, 10:57 AM
Good advice about the hotheads. Sometimes though, you do not realize who the hothead is.

This is true... they will eventually show their true colors though. It's not so much an "angry" thing, it's hot headed ACTION you need to avoid.

The guy that was upset about the gun in church. I can understand the anger, but if he had gone over and got "all up in his face", I'd be worried. Those are the people I avoid.

If you can't express anger without vitriol and aggression, I don't want to be around you.

If you can't walk (or drive) away from people who have anger problems and instead allow yourself to be drawn in, I don't want to be around you.

PARTICULARLY, if you are any of those things and think you should carry a gun, I DEFINITELY don't want to be ANYWHERE around you.

geetarman
February 16, 2011, 10:58 AM
Too much testosterone and not enough common sense.

If each had taken a step back, it would not have happened.

I am on the lookout for aggressive drivers all the time. I let them pass.

Much better for them to be in front than behind.

Geetarman:D

Bartholomew Roberts
February 16, 2011, 11:34 AM
According to this online report (http://bigcountryhomepage.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=341936), the Abilene Police department's incident report lists the charge as "First Degree Murder."

The above link also contains several links to additional stories about the shooting. Based on a short read, the shooting appears to be just as senseless and pointless as the initial story makes it sound. From the comments, it sounds like the police chief is caught between the local news and a prominent local family and decided to punt to the Grand Jury.

According to the victim's girlfriend (http://bigcountryhomepage.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=%09341586), after the shooting Driver A ""looked at me and told me, 'Next time, learn not to pull a gun on someone' and smiled,"

I'm waiting to see what kind of case his lawyer puts up; but I'd expect the Grand Jury to return an indictment on this one.

Also appears that Driver A may have a criminal history after all - the truck is registered to a man named Christopher North, 44yrs old. Police have not confirmed if this is the same man who was driving the truck; but North has a history of drunken driving arrests (has interlock device installed) and was arrested (subsequently no-billed by the grand jury) for aggravated assault in Kaufman County in 2007.

cracked91
February 16, 2011, 11:50 AM
According to this online report, the Abilene Police department's incident report lists the charge as "First Degree Murder."


+1 on that

Sarge
February 16, 2011, 01:40 PM
They police classify reports according to policy or in the absence of policy, the officer's opinion. The classification of the report will have zero effect on what, if any, charge is filed.

Beentown71
February 16, 2011, 04:04 PM
Thanks for bringing up this incident. I used to be the guy who hops out of the vehicle to "make" things right. Making things right in my own mind anyway. 20 years later I know better but it is good to have a reminder every now and then.

Beentown

Glenn Bartley
February 16, 2011, 10:32 PM
Perhaps I should have said "most of the time" rather than "anytime". Most of the time, staying in your car is going to be the right tactical move. Oh, I agree with that as far as road rage or anything like that goes. I was only talking abut during an actual shooting. In road rage, best to jsut keep driving and in an opposite direction from the other guy.

All the best,
GB

Skans
February 17, 2011, 09:02 AM
Oh, I agree with that as far as road rage or anything like that goes. I was only talking abut during an actual shooting. In road rage, best to jsut keep driving and in an opposite direction from the other guy.

I admit, your comment made me think - "what is the best thing to do if 2-3 armed and experienced thugs are able to box your car in in a bad part of town"? Do you get out? If you do, what cover is available? I'm not quite sure what I'd do - I'd still be inclined to stay in my car, though I don't know if this is the best reaction. Depends on the circumstances, I suppose.

MLeake
February 17, 2011, 09:14 AM
... with regard to vehicular incidents...

... has assumed vehicles disabled by IED.

In both the courses I attended, though, getting out of a disabled vehicle was considered critical.

Are there any instructors out there who actually advocate staying in a boxed-in or disabled vehicle, if shooting seems at all likely?

Willie Lowman
February 17, 2011, 01:29 PM
Driver A exits his truck and as Driver B exits his vehicle, Driver A shoots him in the head killing him.

both drivers claim self-defense


Does not compute... How can someone claim self defense if they have been shot in the head and are now deceased?

tryNto
February 17, 2011, 02:53 PM
Does not compute... How can someone claim self defense if they have been shot in the head and are now deceased?

Exactly what I thought...

TailGator
February 17, 2011, 03:34 PM
In both the courses I attended, though, getting out of a disabled vehicle was considered critical.

Is the reason the limitation of movement and the possible need to engage people at bad angles from your seat?

MLeake
February 17, 2011, 08:27 PM
TailGator...

... those are two good reasons, yes. It's hard to engage effectively from inside a vehicle.

A third reason is that you are a relatively stationary target, in a box of unarmored metal and glass. Most handgun rounds considered suitable for defense will have little trouble getting through a car door or side window. If the vehicle isn't moving, the driver's position is very vulnerable.

If the vehicle can move, then it's a good idea to get it out of the threat zone.

I don't know if the Mustang was effectively pinned in. If it was, then getting out of the car may have been a reasonable response. If it wasn't, the 21yo should have used its agility to get out of the area.

But from the way things read, the 40yo in the truck initiated hostilities, and then chose to re-engage. If so, then he deserves any and all charges leveled.

Stevie-Ray
February 17, 2011, 11:19 PM
Someone brandishes a gun at you during a road rage incident, then gets back in his car, so you get back into your truck. So now you know someone has a gun, and you have just escaped a nearly lethal incident, the threat has ended. But whats the next best move in a road rage incident when you know your aggressor has a gun?I'd get on the horn, dial police and say "A guy just pulled a gun on me. He's in a <enter vehicle>, license #whatever, going south on.....etc."

Sheesh, what a couple boneheads!

Just spent the last 2 weeks at my northern property. Almost heaven, even though the driving is far longer for everything. Nice when the only thing that comes close to ticking you off, is a slow truck. Even that doesn't bother me though, since that is a sensible truck driver. Smiles from people that don't know you, even waves or nods, rather than the Detroiter single-digit salute.

Eventually, I always have to come home, though. Through Detroit.

therewolf
February 18, 2011, 04:34 PM
Yeah, Stevie-Ray, good point.

Many people may not realize a full size pickup truck weighs in at about 3 to 4

tons. I'm lucky in that mine has 4-wheel disc brakes, many don't.

Unlike new cars which weigh in at under 1800lbs, they can't handle or stop

as quickly as most cars, and the responsible, experienced driver HAS to take the

limits of a vehicle like this into consideration, as well as attempt to

compensate for all those insensitive,selfish, brainless boneheads in smaller

vehicles who insist on driving like mindless cretins on their way to the local

convenience store in a rush because they think they're slick...

Brian Pfleuger
February 18, 2011, 04:53 PM
Many people may not realize a full size pickup truck weighs in at about 3 to 4tons....Unlike new cars which weigh in at under 1800lbs,

There's virtually not a car in the world that weighs 1,800 pounds... most are at least 2,500, very often over 3,000.... and a fairly large truck, like a Dadge Ram 1500 Laramie, only weighs about 5,500 pounds.

A Lotus Elise, which is one of the lightest cars in America, weighs 2,050 pounds.... a Toyota Prius is over 2,900 pounds.

MLeake
February 18, 2011, 05:35 PM
... only 5,500lbs isn't far short of 3 tons, and that was for a 1500 series.

Now make it a 250/2500 or 350/3500 (depending if you like Ford, or Chevy/Dodge numbering), and the weights probably fall within the "3 or 4 tons" estimate, especially for dually or heavy tow package trucks.

A Mustang isn't about to move my Avalanche out of the way, if they start out in full contact, at a stop. It may have the horsepower, but it won't have the weight to keep the tires in contact.

Again, I don't know if the Mustang was pinned in for the initial confrontation; I'm just saying it is feasible for a large truck to pin in a sports car.

Brian Pfleuger
February 18, 2011, 07:07 PM
Again, I don't know if the Mustang was pinned in for the initial confrontation; I'm just saying it is feasible for a large truck to pin in a sports car.

It is, yes, but the weight difference is likely to be closer 1,500 pounds than the nearly 6,500 suggested. Many cars weigh well over 3,000 pounds and many trucks are under 5,000.

Fact is, all I've seen for a description is "chevy truck". Chevy makes truck that weigh as little as 3,300 pounds (Colorado) and a Ford Mustang can weigh as much as 3,500 pounds.


Regardless, virtually any vehicle could trap a car. If it couldn't go backwards it would be pretty easy for most any other car to stop it from going forwards. It would be two wheels with traction against 4 wheels with brakes on. The most that would happen is the two wheels would spin, I hope a Mustang could spin at least, but some cars couldn't even do that.

hondauto
February 18, 2011, 07:46 PM
The guy commited murder.That's all there is to it.
He shot the other driver to kill(in the head) and had no self defense reasoning,other than the moment he had the gun pulled on him.After that he had the opportunity to leave.
He came back and commited vehicular assault and then killed him..He is done for.. prison inmate for life..
My .02 worth

Catfishman
February 18, 2011, 08:27 PM
I say getting out of the car is a bad move.

I cite the dead man as evidence.

BTW - my Dodge weighs 6650 lbs. Half ton trucks are much bigger and heavier than they used to be.


I think the shooter is guilty of something. But not murder, maybe not manslaughter. The Mustang driver pointed a gun at him. This is why you never brandish a weapon. It may force you to use it or it may get you killed, killed justifiably at that.

After having a gun pointed at him the Chevy driver got in his truck and rammed the car. What should he have done? Driven away?

Yes he should have, but he would have been exposing himself to the risk of being shot in the back by a man who was pointing a gun at him seconds before. Ramming the car was wrong, but not completely unreasonable considering the Mustang drivers actions.

The shooting could be easy to defend. Everyone agrees the Mustang driver pointed the gun at him the first time they got out. The second time the gun isn't mentioned. I would imagine the shooter is going to say the Mustang driver was holding it. And in his defense, wouldn't it be strange if he didn't have his gun in his hand the second time?

Both of these guys escalated the situation. We've got use our heads and not let pride and testoterene dictate our actions.

geetarman
February 18, 2011, 11:30 PM
I think the guy who backed the truck up, escalated the level of violence.

It is going to cost him plenty.

Geetarman:D

HunterGuy
February 19, 2011, 01:10 PM
Two wrongs don't make a right. They were both wrong in getting angry to the point of getting out of their car. New Jersey law is if any driver leaves his/her vehicle in a dispute, they can be arrested.

Ben Towe
February 20, 2011, 05:00 AM
A SD defense will be hard to sell but a slick lawyer might pull it off. A guy here killed three people in '09 and they just aquitted him of all charges. He did it and everyone knows it but fancy lawyers can pull alot of tricks.

As far as the vehicle situation:
Ton trucks with diesel engines can approach 10,000 pounds. They can easily have 750 horsepower and out accelerate Vipers, Corvettes, and Mustangs. A Mustang is no match for that. That is, admittedly, the upper end of the spectrum but is not at all uncommon. Even a four wheel drive half ton could muscle a Mustang around with ease.

bikerbill
February 21, 2011, 12:16 PM
"Ton trucks with diesel engines can approach 10,000 pounds. They can easily have 750 horsepower and out accelerate Vipers, Corvettes, and Mustangs. A Mustang is no match for that. That is, admittedly, the upper end of the spectrum but is not at all uncommon. Even a four wheel drive half ton could muscle a Mustang around with ease."

Ben, do you have ANY proof of the above statement? A road test showing an off-the-floor truck beating a Mustang V8 or Viper or Corvette in ANY kind of speed test? It's ridiculous. Diesel engines in trucks are designed for torque, not horsepower; they're made to haul heavy objects, not drag race sports cars ... they would certain be able to PUSH a Mustang around, but outrun it? Not a prayer. And if there's an off-the-floor pickup of ANY kind with a 750hp Diesel engine, I'll eat my 1911 ... maybe a tractor, but not a common-use truck ... does not compute ...

Bartholomew Roberts
February 21, 2011, 01:34 PM
According to the Abilene Reporter-News (http://www.reporternews.com/news/2011/feb/17/sayles-shooter-turns-himself/), the driver of the pick-up truck is James Christopher North and he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge by the grand jury.

North (Driver A) is alleging that David (Driver B) fired the first shot in the confrontation and is claiming self-defense; but hasn't been real clear about where in the timeline it happened. Obviously, if it happened after North rammed the Mustang into opposing traffic, it is likely that even David firing first won't be enough to claim self-defense under Texas law.

micromontenegro
February 21, 2011, 01:52 PM
"Yes he should have, but he would have been exposing himself to the risk of being shot in the back by a man who was pointing a gun at him seconds before. Ramming the car was wrong, but not completely unreasonable considering the Mustang drivers actions. "

My thoughts exactly. If I was in that position, I would be mighty scared. Would positively not want a gun wielding wacko trailing me.

Of course, I would have never gotten into the verbal fight, getting out of the car thing in the first place, so that is a moot point.

Ben Towe
February 21, 2011, 01:57 PM
BikerBill, PM sent your way.

Stevie-Ray
February 21, 2011, 02:15 PM
Ben, do you have ANY proof of the above statement? A road test showing an off-the-floor truck beating a Mustang V8 or Viper or Corvette in ANY kind of speed test? It's ridiculous. Diesel engines in trucks are designed for torque, not horsepower; they're made to haul heavy objects, not drag race sports cars ...Not off-the-floor, but I'll bet Ben was referring to the crazy HP and tqe figures prevalent in today's diesel jockeys with fairly non-descript trucks. Doesn't take much tweaking and diesels love nitrous and mechanical power-adders. Here's a sample where the top truck made 956 HP and over 1600 pound feet of torque. Probably never know if the guy in the story has done something like this.
Dynos (http://www.dieselpowermag.com/videos/index.html)

Edit: Sorry for off-topic, I see Ben has replied.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 21, 2011, 03:49 PM
The dead guy didn't have gun shot residue on his hands. Did someone mention that?

Doesn't look good for the shooter's claims.

Glenn Bartley
February 21, 2011, 05:00 PM
The dead guy didn't have gun shot residue on his hands. Did someone mention that? Is there some special significance to that? I have not read all of the previous posts, but have read a lot of them, so maybe something changed in what was claimed by the shooter and missed it. Has the shooter now claimed the other guy shot at him? If not, I fail to see any importance to the lack of gun powder residue on the dead man.

In general the person who points a gun at you, whom you then shoot before he can fire, is unlikely to have such residue on him (unless it was close range and is from your gun).

Mind you, I am not trying to justify, in any fashion, the actions of the shooter or the deceased - and am not trying to say the guy who got shot was still pointing, or for a second time was pointing, a gun at the shooter at the time of the shot. I am just wondering why lack of residue on the deceased would be significant in this particular case.

All the best,
GB

Bullet94
February 21, 2011, 05:44 PM
I believe I read that the lawyer for the guy that's still alive said that the dead guy fired a shot first.

MLeake
February 21, 2011, 05:52 PM
... see post #81.

Glenn Bartley
February 21, 2011, 06:48 PM
I am getting old, I read that one earlier and somehow it eluded me!:( Thanks.

JerryM
February 21, 2011, 07:29 PM
Lack of self control has ruined many a person. It is better to swallow pride than to go through what this guy is going to go through even if he is found not guilty, which I doubt.
Jerry

Bartholomew Roberts
April 6, 2011, 04:56 PM
Update: Murder trial for James Christopher North is set for August 1 in the 350th District Court in Abilene.

Marlin009
April 6, 2011, 05:02 PM
As it should be.

Doublea A
April 7, 2011, 10:25 AM
Road rages are not joke! There are people out there who drives like nobody else pay taxes except them. This is very unfortunate that it came to this but we can all learn some lessons from this tragic incident.

If you are cut off, let it go
Don't pull a gun to intimidate.
Don't cut people off without apologizing.
If you have a firearm don't escalate the situation. (Both did)
Don't put your car in reverse and run people over.
Even though there are jerks, angry, druggies and people who can't drive, we still have to share the road.
Even though, I feel like sometimes slapping some drivers on the road, I don't.
Things can change quickly.
Don't get out of the car for arguement sake.
Don't be the judge, the persecutor and the police

Try to be calm and alert especially when you are carrying.
These are the lessons I have learned.

But I hope the Chevrolet Pickup driver gets life “if” he truly did cut the mustang driver off and argued as well. If you do something wrong just apologize and don’t be macho about it. When he put his car in reverse and rammed the mustang he became the aggressor therefore cannot claim self-defense. This doesn't imply that the mustang driver was not as fault as well. IMHO

markj
April 7, 2011, 02:15 PM
Ton trucks with diesel engines can approach 10,000 pounds

LOL. I ran one over the scales Saturday was less than 6000 lbs, a 92 chevy one ton 6.2liter turbo diesel 4x4 .. :) my 3/4 chevy 4x4 is like 5700 lbs.

output
April 8, 2011, 07:33 AM
From what I've read...
________________________________________
... I would put much more blame on the 40yo.

One poster indicated he google-satellite-mapped what he thinks to be the intersection where the 21yo exited his vehicle, and that if it was the right intersection, then it's very possible the 21yo's Mustang was physically blocked in by the truck.

If that were the case, I wonder if everybody would be saying, "stay in the car."

The reason I ask that is because I've always been taught that if a vehicle is immobilized, it's the LAST place you want to be for a confrontation. You lose all mobility, and make a sitting target; meanwhile, your driver's door and window won't stop most rounds.

So, if the Mustang was actually blocked, then exiting the car may not have been "aggression" on the part of the 21yo, but a precaution. Same with his display of a weapon.

Also, the initial write-up indicated that the 21yo's "brake check" was caused by him slowing to allow another car to make a turn, not a "brake check" in the sense of flipping an automotive bird at the 40yo.

Those statements and assumptions could have been wrong, in which case I'd say they both screwed up, but I'd still assign more blame to the 40yo. But if those statements and assumptions were accurate, I'd accept a self-defense claim from the decedent, had he survived.

Very good points. I was wondering the same things.

Also, we don’t know exactly how bad the 21 year old was being tailgated or harassed prior to arriving at that stoplight. In order for him exit his vehicle with a firearm I would assume that he wasn’t “just being tailgated.”

A pickup truck can be a very dangerous weapon and is much more capable of inflicting damage than any small arm is capable of.

In one of the articles I also read that when the 21 year old got back into his vehicle he instructed his girlfriend to call the police. Somehow I don’t think the driver of the mustang was the aggressor here.

I am not condoning anyone’s actions, just adding to the discussion.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 23, 2011, 05:19 PM
Update: The trial of James Christopher North has been pushed back to October 10 due to motions of his attorney. It was originally scheduled for August 1.

TheNocturnus
September 23, 2011, 05:50 PM
Don't carry a gun if you can't control your temper.

+<><> (supposed to be an infinity symbol, can't find mine on my keyboard:))

Well said peetzakilla, well said.

therealdeal
September 24, 2011, 03:01 AM
thanks for the update

nate45
September 24, 2011, 05:04 AM
Road rage is a perplexing thing to me. In that people, who would never say boo in most any other situation, feel free to act aggressively in their vehicles. I suppose they feel safe in there.

Thanks to my defensive driving skills, I rarely encounter, or anger, the prone to road rage drivers. When I do, I try to ignore them and let them go on their way. If they don't go on their way, that is another story... However, rest assured I would handle the situation in a calm, logical manner.

These stories should serve as a warning to all. Never escalate the situation, never respond with anger and aggression of your own. With only a little effort you can forget the idiot who flipped you off. Forgetting a murder charge, or your family forgetting your death won't be so easy.

Mello2u
September 24, 2011, 12:23 PM
James Christopher North the truck driver began the February 2011 confrontation by pulling around the Mustang and stopping in front of it, getting out to yell at Austin David.

Unless there was a great disparity in physical size between the two drivers, I can not see a justification for Austin David to show a handgun. Only if Austin David was much much smaller than James Christopher North, would there be some justification for David to show a gun.

As to the claim of self-defense for James Christopher North arrested for killing David, I would think that he gave up that defense when he rammed the smaller car instead of leaving the scene. Then he compounded his fault when he chose to get out of his truck again, this time with a gun to continue the fight instead of leaving and shot Austin David in the head.

It seems James Christopher North has been charged with MURDER as defined below Sec. 19.02.(1).

Perhaps North's attorney will try during the penalty phase of trial to "raise the issue as to whether he caused the death under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause." to get the penalty down to a second degree felony if North is convicted at trial. However, "Adequate Cause" as defined below does not seem to fit the facts that have been reported in this thread.

CHAPTER 19. CRIMINAL HOMICIDE

Sec. 19.01. TYPES OF CRIMINAL HOMICIDE. (a) A person commits criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causes the death of an individual.

(b) Criminal homicide is murder, capital murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide.

Sec. 19.02. MURDER. (a) In this section:

(1) "Adequate cause" means cause that would commonly produce a degree of anger, rage, resentment, or terror in a person of ordinary temper, sufficient to render the mind incapable of cool reflection.

(2) "Sudden passion" means passion directly caused by and arising out of provocation by the individual killed or another acting with the person killed which passion arises at the time of the offense and is not solely the result of former provocation.

(b) A person commits an offense if he:

(1) intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual;

(2) intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual; or

(3) commits or attempts to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempt, or in immediate flight from the commission or attempt, he commits or attempts to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.

(d) At the punishment stage of a trial, the defendant may raise the issue as to whether he caused the death under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause. If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the offense is a felony of the second degree.

kgpcr
September 24, 2011, 12:50 PM
Why either of them got out of the care while being armed is STUPID!!!!! If one would have kept on driving there would not have been a problem. IDIOTS!

Alaska444
September 24, 2011, 01:28 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, just the first page and the timeline link, but it looks like this will be a slam dunk 2nd degree murder or in the very least aggravated manslaughter conviction. The creep in the pickup aggressed first, cut off the car, showed a gun, pushed the pickup into the other car and then shot the guy when he got out of his car which he probably could have got away with self defense only if he hadn't died first. The pickup guy should go to jail for a VERY long time.

Just goes to show that you can't really interact with anyone in any aggressive manner whatsoever anymore. Just too many nuts out there looking for a fight. Tapping on the breaks used to be a way to get someone to back off when tailgating, better now just to pull over and let the creep go by or get out of his way some how. I see the creep in the pickup as the overwhelming aggressor. The guy in the mustang failed to recognize the situation and should have assumed a defensive position for him and his girlfriend, or simply got out of there as soon as he saw the guy with a gun. Anything you can do to de-escalate a situation is best even if not easy to do. What a silly reason to die and even sillier to go to jail. Not sure what year his mustang is, but it should have been able to outrun any pickup truck while they are calling the cops.

Crankgrinder
September 24, 2011, 11:37 PM
Ive been reading this and concur with most to say mustang guy should never have showed the guy his gun but the pickup guy didnt have to race around and stop in front of somebody then get out hollering. A pickup truck IS a deadly weapon expecialy when used in a malicious fashion such as this against the driver in a vehicle about three times smaller than the pickup. personaly if he had deliberately rammed into me with mother/kids in the car in this way he would be shot right then. Id make my case of self defense to the courts on those grounds sans the whole getting out of the car shouting/gun show thing.

Bartholomew Roberts
October 17, 2011, 01:23 PM
KTXS in Abilene is covering the murder trial on a day-by-day basis. It is a good read for those interested in the legal aftermath of a shooting; though most of the entries are fairly brief:

Day 1 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29450525/detail.html)
Day 2 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29461202/detail.html)
Day 3 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29473056/detail.html)
Day 4 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29490841/detail.html)
Day 5 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29507776/detail.html) (Prosecution Rests )
Day 6 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29516870/detail.html) Prosecution manages to exclude police dashboard video statement by shooter as hearsay.
Day 7 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29532750/detail.html) - Defense moves for mistrial. Judge denies. Recess until Friday.

As of Day 5, the testimony from the prosecution appears to be very similar to what was reported. Starting with Day 6, North's story is being told. North claims he was just trying to make a right hand turn from the left lane into a cigar shop when the Mustang came roaring up.

Casimer
October 17, 2011, 02:28 PM
So far, the testimony from the prosecution appears to be very similar to what was reported.

Yes. IIRC initially there was some question as to whether Austin David, the victim, had his gun in hand when he exited the Mustang for the second time. And it appears that he did. This may help North with his self defense claim, though I doubt that it's going to exonerate him. But it does establish that David had the means both times that he emerged from the Mustang to confront North.

In a lot of ways, David brought this on himself. Not that Norths actions were justified, but things likely wouldn't have gone down the same way if David hadn't tried to intimidate North with a firearm.

C0untZer0
October 17, 2011, 02:38 PM
Here is the infinity symbol:


C0untZer0
October 17, 2011, 02:44 PM
I guess the thing that dissapoints me about this whole thing is that gun-control advocates always claim that if people are allowed to carry we'll go back to the days of the wild wild west - with shootouts in the streets.

This case certainly seems to be a poster child for that.

Bartholomew Roberts
October 17, 2011, 05:16 PM
This may help North with his self defense claim, though I doubt that it's going to exonerate him. But it does establish that David had the means both times that he emerged from the Mustang to confront North.

Well, I am skeptical it will help much. Even if David wasn't justified in brandishing the weapon in the first encounter, after an angry guy rams his pickup in reverse and pushes you over a median into oncoming traffic, I'd expect anyone who has access to a firearm to have one in their hand.

How about that closing testimony today from witness Shari Cook? She apparently thanked North for shooting David afterwards saying that the way David was driving would have killed somebody if it hadn't been stopped. Somehow I don't think Ms. Cook has a good grasp on acceptable use of force.

However, it looks like David was at least somewhat aggressive. Another bystander remarked he was preparing to tackle David since he knew he had a gun after the first confrontation and was surprised when David got shot in the head. One more possibility to keep in mind when getting involved in third party situations I guess...

Bartholomew Roberts
October 21, 2011, 03:19 PM
Day 8 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29549914/detail.html) - Independent test finds no traces of marijuana in David's system (shootee). Second witness testifies shootee was driving dangerously. Recess until Monday.
Day 9 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29571427/detail.html) - Doctor testifies to details of lack of canabanoids out of presence of jury. Defense Rests. Closing arguments begin tomorrow morning.
Day 10 (http://www.ktxs.com/news/29579940/detail.html). Closing arguments and jury deliberation. Defense tries to get photo admitted showing David pointing a gun at North during first altercation. Denied.

Based on what I've read, it looks like the only new information that North's defense raised is that David was driving dangerously prior to their first altercation.

Bartholomew Roberts
October 26, 2011, 12:22 PM
As the "Day 10" link details, Christopher North was found guilty of murder after 3 hours deliberation by the jury. The defense set up several issues for appeal and presumably he will attempt to appeal that verdict.

youngunz4life
October 26, 2011, 03:39 PM
convicted of murder, yeah I would call that a bad day

Patriot86
October 26, 2011, 03:45 PM
Both were wrong, Sounds like Driver A should go to jail though, he comitted assault with a deadly weapon(his truck) on Driver B. Before his actions, no force had been used.

Davey
October 27, 2011, 09:56 AM
This along with Jerome Ersland are good examples of what not to do.

Crappy situation all around.

Tennessee Gentleman
October 27, 2011, 09:53 PM
North sentenced to 70 years. Eligible for parole in 35 years. http://www.reporternews.com/news/2011/oct/26/christopher-north-given-70-years-prison-murder-aus/

youngunz4life
October 30, 2011, 03:38 AM
http://www.myfoxaustin.com/dpp/top_stories/Two-Men-Arrested-in-Road-Rage-Incident20111028-ktbcw?obref=obinsite#axzz1cFcxoexN

no comment

TheNocturnus
October 30, 2011, 11:59 AM
Here is the infinity symbol:



Thanks, did you just insert an image or turn an "8" sideways somehow? my post got the point across, it just didn't look pretty.:)

Mello2u
October 30, 2011, 11:18 PM
I hope we can all learn for the mistakes of others (because we don't have time to make them all ourselves).