LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A downtown hot dog vendor has pleaded not guilty to murder in connection with an alleged road rage shooting in late June.

A grand jury indicted 67-year-old Donald Hayes on one count of murder on Aug. 12. He is accused of fatally shooting 57-year-old Danny Wilson in a bank parking lot in the Camp Taylor neighborhood on June 21 after he was involved in what police called a "road rage incident."

Attorney General Conway's Office of Special Prosecutions is handling the prosecution of this case at the request of Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine.

During a hearing on July 3, Louisville Metro Police detective Brian Peters testified that Hayes told officers he and Wilson got into a "pissing contest," in which they cut each other off in heavy traffic on the Watterson Expressway (I-264), near the Taylorsville Road exit.Peters said the situation continued west until the Poplar Level Road exit, where one driver followed the other, and Wilson pulled off into a bank parking lot.

Hayes says he waited a few minutes, then drove up beside Wilson in the opposite direction, so their drivers' side doors were almost touching, Peters said.

Hayes told officers his driver's side window was broken and that Wilson used a baseball bat to knock it out. Peters added that hadn't been proven because Hayes could have shot out the window himself.

Hayes then picked up his .38 caliber handgun from the passenger seat and fired a single shot into Wilson's car, Peters said. The shot hit Wilson in the head. Wilson then lost control of his car, drove across the street and hit three parked cars in a barber shop parking lot, Peters said.

Surveillance video showed Hayes' car leaving the area. He lives less than half-a-mile from the scene.

When Hayes got home, he called 911 and told a call taker he fired his gun into a car and wasn't sure if he hit anyone, Peters said. Hayes and Wilson had never met each other, and they did not exchange any words during the entire incident, Peters said. Investigators believe Hayes drove into the parking lot, shot Wilson and left, all in a matter of 13 seconds, Peters said.

Wilson's family says he never left his vehicle.

Hayes remains free on $50,000 bond.


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