Florida man accused of shooting elderly car salesman dead after rear-ending his vehicle
A 65-year-old Florida man faces second-degree murder charges for shooting and killing a car sales manager after instigating a two-car collision between them, WESH-TV reported.
Attorneys for William Sherwood said on Monday that their client acted in self-defense when he shot 64-year-old John Pratt in Melbourne in March 2013. Pratt was test-driving a customer’s vehicle when Sherwood’s car rear-ended him.
Prosecutors argued that Sherwood was tailing Pratt for half a mile when he crashed into him on purpose. When Pratt approached Sherwood’s vehicle to get his information, they said, Pratt shot him twice. Pratt died of his injuries at a local hospital.
“I see the man kind of stagger up, and then he fell down to the ground,” one witness, Terry Bogard, testified on Monday. “I just started screaming, telling my husband, ‘He shot him, he shot him.”
But Sherwood’s attorneys said Pratt punched their client through the driver’s side window, forcing him to pull his gun out of his holster and shoot to protect himself.
WKMG-TV reported that, according to one witness, Pratt opened Sherwood’s door, leading the witness to believe a “fight” was about to happen at the time of the shooting.
[Image via WESH-TV]