- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - A jury on Tuesday began deliberating the fate of a 69-year-old man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of another motorist during a road rage incident in southeastern Michigan.

Martin Zale took the stand in his own defense earlier in the day. The case in Livingston County Circuit Court went to the jury Tuesday afternoon.

Zale shot Derek Flemming last September near Howell, 45 miles northwest of Detroit. Witnesses say Flemming walked up to Zale’s pickup truck to complain about aggressive driving while both were stopped in traffic.

Zale said he shot Flemming in self-defense. He said the other driver was “hitting” or “pounding” his truck, so he put his window down and asked what he was doing. Flemming hit him through the window while yelling and screaming that he was going to beat him.

“As he’s yelling all this, he’s reaching in my truck,” Zale said.

Under cross-examination, Zale acknowledged he meant to kill Flemming.

“When you pulled that trigger, you had every intention to kill that man at that moment, correct?” assistant prosecutor Daniel Rose asked.

“I was defending myself,” Zale said.

Rose told Zale that was not the question he asked.

“You had every intention to kill that man when you pulled the trigger, correct?” Rose asked.

“Yes,” Zale said.


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