Jurors find Donald Hayes not guilty in 'road rage' murder trial
Jurors reached a verdict in the trial of a hot dog vendor charged with killing a man during a road rage incident in June of 2014.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After deliberating for about two hours, jurors reached a verdict Thursday in the trial of a hot dog vendor charged with killing a man during a road rage incident two years ago.
Donald Hayes was found not guilty.
"Mr. Hayes is doing very well. It's a huge relief for all of us. It's a huge relief. Our condolences still go out to the Wilson family. But we are very satisfied with the results," defense attorney Kevin Glogower said.
Hayes was charged with murder for shooting Danny Wilson during an alleged road rage incident in June of 2014. It started when Hayes and Wilson allegedly cut each other off in traffic on the Watterson Expressway. When they exited onto Poplar Level Road, that's when things escalated. Hayes testified that he shot in self defense after Wilson smashed his driver's window with a baseball bat.
"From knowing the case as well as we did, we thought the case was more of a road rage case than self-defense," Head of the LMPD Homicide Unit Todd Kessinger said.
"Self-defense became a factor in the courtroom, but when it happened, it was road rage on both sides and the road rage ultimately ended up as shots being fired and Danny Wilson being killed," Kessinger said.
There was one piece of evidence Kessinger said was a turning point in the case for the jury.
"We went back and we talked to the jury, and the baseball bat was the crux of the case. Once (Glogower) brought the bat out, that's what sealed the jury's decision," Kessinger said.
"The biggest thing that wasn't brought up was that Danny Wilson was not a bad guy. He would help anybody. He would give you the shirt off his back, and they portrayed him as a bad guy, and I'm not sure the jury got some of that information," Danny Wilson's family member, Don Wolfe said.
"Again, our condolences still go out to the Wilson family. It's not a happy situation," Glogower said.
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