Defense claims man killed in 2014 road-rage murder case had been involved in similar incident
Attorneys for hot-dog vendor Donald Hayes told a judge that a person has come forward telling them 57-year-old Danny Wilson threw a flashlight at him
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Attorneys for a downtown hot dog vendor charged in an alleged 2014 road-rage murder said Monday that the man killed had previously been involved in a separate similar incident.
Attorney Robert Chandler, who represents Donald Hayes, told a Jefferson Circuit Court judge that Danny Wilson, 57, threw a Maglite flashlight at a truck.
“Someone came to us that had a similar run-in with this gentleman,” Chandler told Judge Mary Shaw. The flashlight hit the front of the person’s truck and landed in the back, he said.
The person, who was not named in court, came forward after seeing the case on the news.
“It’s not somebody that we were seeking; it’s somebody who contacted our office,” Chandler said.
Chandler told Shaw that the defense would provide the new evidence to prosecutors for review.
Wilson was shot and killed by Hayes on June 21, 2014, after the men pulled into a bank parking lot after cutting each other off repeatedly while driving on the Watterson Expressway, according to testimony from a police officer.
Defense attorneys are claiming Hayes acted in self-defense.
Also on Monday, Chandler said that both sides were trying to resolve the case before it goes to trial in May. Prosecutors and defense attorneys spent about an hour negotiating before the hearing behind closed doors.
It is unlikely the details of Wilson's alleged second road-rage incident will be made available before trial.
Shaw has allowed prosecutors and defense attorneys to withhold evidence from the public and media, which is unusual in Jefferson County.
Both sides, according to her order, “wish to keep pretrial publicity” to a minimum to ensure “as fair a trial as possible” for Hayes.
Hayes is out of jail on bond and is still selling hot dogs outside the courthouse. He is due back in court on March 31.
The Attorney General's office has already turned over to the defense more than 500 pages of evidence, a DVD of an interview police had with Hayes and the grand jury testimony that led to the indictment.
Some of the facts of the case already came out during a probable cause hearing in Jefferson District Court in 2014.
Louisville Metro Police Detective Brian Peters testified that Hayes told him the two men got into “a pissing match,” cutting each other off repeatedly while driving on the Watterson Expressway, according to a video of the hearing.
When asked what prompted the altercation, Hayes told Peters he didn't have an explanation. Hayes said both men exited at Poplar Level Road.
Hayes followed Wilson to a bank parking lot, driving alongside Wilson's vehicle and stopping so close they could not open their doors, Peters said.
Before Hayes could say anything, he told Peters his window shattered, cutting his face. Hayes leaned over and picked up a .38-caliber revolver lying on the seat next to him.
Peters said Hayes told him Wilson drove off, after likely seeing the gun, but Hayes fired a shot toward the car. Hayes said he then went home, not knowing if he had hit Wilson or not. He called 911 after he arrived home, Peters said.
Wilson crashed into three vehicles and was found shot-to-death inside his car. A baseball bat was found between his legs.
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