33-year-old Christopher Garrett of Norristown, Pennsylvania has been found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of recklessly endangering another person and simple assault for shooting Jose Iglesias during a road rage incident last August.
The incident started when Iglesias cut Garrett off on a stretch of road where two lanes narrow to one. Garrett then pulled up next to Iglesias at a red light, got out of his car and started to shout at Iglesias. Both men then were out of their cars and started fighting.
Garrett is 6 feet 9 inches tall, Iglesias is only 5 feet 8 inches. Yet Garrett testified that Iglesias was beating him in the fist fight.
At some point during the altercation a 9mm handgun fell out of the back brace that Garrett was wearing. At the time he had a valid permit to carry the concealed, loaded weapon.
According to court testimony, Garrett picked up the gun, Iglesias raised his arms and said, "What are you going to do shoot me?" At which point Garrett pulled the gun's slide, chambered a round, and pointed the gun at Iglesias. He then shot Iglesias.
Garrett argued he shot in self-defense but the prosecution contended that Garret provoked the confrontation from start to finish and deadly force was not warranted. The jury deliverated less than four hours before finding Garrett guilty.
Mr. Iglesias was not available to testify because during the surgery to repair the damage done when the bullet perforated his liver and lung, Iglesias went into cardiac arrest, was deprived of oxygen and is now in a persistent vegetative state.
Iglesias' wife testified at trial that he is bedbound and entirely dependent on her for basic care and that he cannot move or talk.