Murder trial continues for downtown Louisville hot dog vendor - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Murder trial continues for downtown Louisville hot dog vendor

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Donald Hayes listens as testimony continues in his murder trial. Donald Hayes listens as testimony continues in his murder trial.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The murder trial began this week for a long-time downtown Louisville hot dog vendor accused of a road rage murder.

Among the first to testify was a man who has known Donald Hayes for years, and the man just happened to be the first to discover the man Hayes is accused of killing.

"I talked to him. I told him that help was on the way. He in no way, shape or form ever responded to me or acted like he heard anything that I said," Jason Miles said in court Thursday.

Miles says he found Danny Wilson unresponsive in his car on June 21, 2014.

Police say that was after Hayes shot Wilson in a road rage incident that began on the Watterson Expressway and ended in a bank parking lot along Poplar Level Road.

Officials say Hayes pulled up next to Wilson so they were facing each other.

"I noticed that there was a baseball bat that was set in between his legs, you know, just like it was laid in between his legs. And, at that point, I had no earthly idea what I was dealing with," Miles said about when he found Wilson in his car.

Hayes claims Wilson had used that bat to break out his window. That's when Hayes says he fired a shot that police say hit Wilson's door frame.

"The bullet hit that door frame and fragmented. It fragmented. One larger and one smaller. Both fragments hit Danny in the face," Prosecutor Barbara Whaley said in court Thursday.

"He didn't aim it. He didn't fire at Mr. Wilson. He fired in the direction of the threat," Hayes' defense attorney argued.

Thursday's opening statements and testimony came after prosecutors offered a plea deal that Hayes rejected.

Thursday, the judge refused to allow into evidence previous road rage incidents involving the victim, Danny Wilson, a fist fight at a stop light, another incident when Wilson threw objects at a truck and a crash where he threatened to shoot the other driver.

Testimony is expected to continue Friday morning.

The day will also include the jury visiting the scene of the shooting.

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