Road Rage Turns into Attempted Murder Charges

October 21, 2022 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes

Two girls were shot as a result of their fathers violent altercation on the highway. A five-year-old suffered a bullet wound to the calf, while the 14-year-old was shot in the back and suffered from a collapsed lung.

We will provide details of the near-deadly road rage event, along with charges for attempted second-degree murder in Florida.

What was the Incident?

On October 8th, 2022, William Hale, 35, and Frank Allison, 43, were arrested and charged with attempted murder after a near-deadly road rage incident. The two men were driving separately around 6pm on U.S. Route 1, north of Jacksonville.

According to a witness, the two began to “brake-check” each other in aggressive moves that felt like an erratic game of “cat and mouse.” The witness called the police, fearing that something worse would happen.

At one point, Hale pulled up in his Dodge Ram next to Allison’s Nissan Murano and threw a water bottle into the open window. The passenger of the Nissan gave the middle finger to the passengers of the Ram.

After the water bottle was thrown, Allison allegedly pulled out a Sig Sauer .45-caliber handgun and fired off one shot toward the vehicle. The bullet pierced through the side door and hit Hale’s 5-year-old daughter in the leg.

Hale said he had heard a loud “pow” at his back door. He reacted by pulling out his own gun—a Glock 9mm handgun—and fired off around seven or eight shots at Allison’s vehicle. “It was an instant reaction,” Hale told police, claiming he “fired everything that was in the clip.” Three of the shots hit the Nissan, and one of the bullets struck Allison’s 14-year-old daughter in the back.

The two men pulled their cars over after spotting a sheriff’s vehicle. The fighting continued after they got out of their cars, and the deputy had to break up the fight and call Nassau County Fire Rescue for backup. Both daughters were taken to the hospital for their bullet wounds—the 14-year-old suffered from a collapsed lung, but both girls are said to make a full recovery.

Nassau County sheriff Bill Leeper gave a news conference on Monday regarding the shoot-out. Sheriff Leeper described the events of the incident and said both men are lucky that no one died: “What’s scarier than one crazy driver with a gun?” Leeper asked rhetorically. “Two crazy drivers with a gun.”

“There could have been two dead kids because of two stupid grown men,” Leeper commented at the news conference.

Both men were charged with second-degree attempted murder. They were each booked with a $150,000 bond and have since been released.

Attempted Murder Charges in Florida

“Attempted” murder is defined in Florida as the actions and proximity to an unsuccessful homicide. Florida Statute differentiates first-degree murder from second-degree murder, with the biggest difference being the intent of killing another human being.

Section 782.04(2) of the Florida Statute explains second-degree murder as the unlawful killing of another person by an act of imminent danger to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life. Second-degree murder does not require premeditation, or a plan to kill the individual.  Attempted second-degree murder is considered a first-degree felony.

The penalties for a first-degree felony include the following:

  • A fine up to $10,000
  • Up to 30 years in prison

Florida’s 10-20-life statute is in play in this case if this case goes to trial. Florida Statue Section 775.087 states that it is illegal for defendants to use a firearm during the commission or attempt of a crime, any felony. Florida’s 10-20-life rule only applies to specific criminal offenses, murder is one of them.

The purpose of the 10-20-life law is to impose mandatory minimum sentences for these felonies if a gun was used during the commission of the crime. The judges in these cases have no discretion to sentence a defendant below the minimum. This is true even in cases where the defendant does not use the firearm but merely was in possession of the firearm. Under the 10-20-life law, judges must at minimum sentence the defendant to the following:

  • 10 years in prison for defendants convicted of committing or attempting to commit any of the listed crimes (with certain exceptions), while armed with a firearm or other destructive device.
  • 20 years in prison for defendants who discharged the firearm.
  • 25-year to life if the defendant discharged the firearm and killed or seriously hurt someone.

Defenses to an Attempted Murder Charge

It may feel as if it is impossible to fight an attempted murder charge. However, the state cannot secure a conviction unless the prosecution can prove the following without reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant intended to commit, aid, or abet a murder or attempted murder
  • The defendant’s acts were both violent and criminal
  • The defendant acted with malicious intent

A skilled defense attorney will work to ensure the charges against you get dismissed. The following is a list of potential defenses to use in a case with an attempted murder charge:

  • The defendant acted in a violent manner to defend another person or persons
  • There is not enough evidence against the defendant to prove that the violent act was premeditated
  • The defendant acted in a way that is considered reasonable for someone who was in a seemingly dangerous situation
  • The defendant was acting in self-defense
  • There were external factors influencing the defendant’s actions—such as pre-existing mental illness

An attempted murder charge can change a person’s life and alter their future. Finding an experienced defense attorney is the best way to figure out a strong defense for your case.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

A conviction for attempted murder can come with serious consequences. Along with expensive fines and potential jail time, holding an attempted murder charge on your criminal record can make it difficult to move forward in life with finding a career or a place to live. If your freedom is at stake, don’t take any risks—contact a skilled Tallahassee defense attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients across the state for various criminal charges. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your case today at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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