Man gets 25-50 years in prison for road rage killing

HOWELL (AP) - A Michigan man was sentenced last Friday to 25 to 50 years in prison for the fatal shooting of another motorist during a road rage incident.

Livingston County Judge Miriam Cavanaugh told Martin Zale that his encounter with Derek Flemming was a "shooting waiting to happen" and that Zale went about "almost looking for conflict."

"If it hadn't been Mr. Flemming, it would have been someone else," Cavanaugh said.

Flemming was shot after he confronted Zale about aggressive driving near Howell, northwest of Detroit, last September.

Zale, of Marion Township, told jurors he felt threatened as he sat in his pickup truck at a traffic light in Livingston County's Genoa Township. He insisted he shot in self-defense.

The prosecutor said Zale should have kept the window up or driven away.

A jury in May rejected first-degree murder but convicted Zale of second-degree murder.

"I called you a monster the day after it happened and my mind hasn't changed," Derek Flemming's mother, Elaine, told Zale last Friday before he was sentenced.

Published: Tue, Jun 16, 2015