Video released in Brevard County road-rage trial
VIERA, Fla. – A jury in a Brevard County road-rage murder trial watched video of a man dying in court Thursday.
Surveillance video detailed the moment John Pratt, 64, was shot just seconds after a fender-bender in Melbourne.
All eight jurors watched closely and observantly as the state presented its key piece of evidence taken from a Chevron gas station.
It was the middle of the day on Saturday March 30, 2013. Two vehicles pulled up to the intersection of Babcock Street and Brevard Drive.
The video shows a blue car, driven by William Sherwood, 65, rear-ending the vehicle in front, driven by Pratt, a car salesman, who was test-driving a customer's SUV for a potential trade-in.
Pratt then gets out of the SUV, walks toward Sherwood's car, and that's when prosecutors said Sherwood shot and killed the 64-year-old.
Jurors watched as Pratt fell to the street.
The video is a crucial piece of evidence for the state, but defense attorney Dan Ciener thinks it better severs his case.
"I think it helps our case. It wasn't damaging at all. It's consistent with what I believe the rest of the evidence the jury will hear tomorrow," said Ciener. "I just wished it was even closer view than it is."
That's because Ciener says his client was acting in self-defense when he pulled the trigger.
Sherwood claims Pratt came over to his car, punched him in the face and knocked his glasses off.
However, the state says it didn't happen that way and witnesses have testified that they didn't see any punches thrown. In fact, they said Sherwood honked his horn, made obscene gestures and tailgated Pratt for nearly a half-mile.
After showing the video, the state rested its case.
The defense ended the day Thursday with arguing a few motions, both were denied.
Sherwood's defense team will start calling their witnesses Friday morning.
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