Jury Can Hear Of Road Rage Killing Suspect’s Aggressive Past

HOWELL, MI (AP) – A judge says a jury can hear testimony that a 69-year-old man accused of a road-rage killing in southeastern Michigan was involved in a similar but non-fatal confrontation previously.

Livingston County Circuit Judge Miriam Cavanaugh made the ruling Thursday at a pretrial hearing for Martin Zale. The Marion Township man faces an open murder charge in the Sept. 2 killing of 43-year-old Derek Flemming of Oceola Township.

Authorities say Flemming got out of his car at Genoa Township intersection to ask Zale about his aggressive driving, and Zale shot him in the head.

Cavanaugh says prosecutors can introduce evidence about Zale’s previous road-rage case in Livonia. If Zale pleads self-defense, the judge says his lawyers can introduce evidence that Flemming also was known as aggressive.

A May trial is expected.

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