By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A young man charged with a Northeast Philadelphia road rage murder in 2010 testifies his father went after the pedestrian victim and he only tried to break it up – with tragic results. The victim died from head trauma. KYW’s Tony Hanson reports Gerard Shaffer senior and junior had been charged with third degree murder, but the father died of natural causes while awaiting trial.
Gerard Shaffer Jr., sobbing throughout his testimony, has told the jury his father beeped at victim Mark Wallace. They exchanged words and then his father stopped the car, got out and approached Wallace and they started fighting. The defendant says he approached and tried to intervene, pulling his father away, but he was struck by Wallace and he grabbed Wallace, the two men fell and Wallace was unconscious. The Shaffers fled.
But the prosecutor, who has cited eyewitness testimony Shaffer Jr. hit the victim and threw him to the ground on his head, emphasized through questioning Shaffer never called 911, and he left the unconscious man on the street.
But Shaffer insisted he never intended for this to happen. He has pleaded not guilty.