Bond request denied in road rage shooting

HOWELL (AP) - A judge denied a defense request Tuesday to release on bond a 69-year-old man charged with killing a motorist in what Michigan authorities said was a case of road rage after learning about a 2008 altercation involving different motorist.

Howell District Court Judge Carol Sue Reader scheduled a preliminary examination Nov. 21 for Martin Zale to determine if the case goes to trial.

Zale, who is held without bond, is charged with an open count of murder in the Sept. 2 shooting death of 43-year-old Derek Flemming in Livingston County. Flemming's wife has said her husband was shot in the head after getting out of his vehicle to ask why Zale was driving aggressively.

Defense lawyer Melissa Pearce has indicated she will argue self-defense if the case goes to trial. Zale's family issued a statement on Tuesday, saying they can't discuss details of the case, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell.

"However we don't want our prior silence to be misinterpreted as inconsiderate behavior or denial of this tragic incident that will deeply scar two families forever," the statement said, adding later, "We stand united and strongly believe that when all the facts of this case are disclosed to an impartial jury."

Pearce made a request to change Zale's bond, but that was denied after Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Rose informed the court about Zale's 2008 case in Livonia, where Zale told police in a statement that he slapped a then-37-year-old man.

Published: Thu, Oct 09, 2014

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