Jury to decide if road rage led to shooting death

In 1991, a jury acquitted Simeon Berkley in a shooting that paralyzed a man following a near-crash on a California freeway. Thirty years later, he’s on trial again, this time for second-degree murder.

A Snohomish County jury will decide if Berkley, 75, acted out of road rage or self-defense in a shooting July 6, 2019, that left an Everett man dead, the Everett Herald reported.

Berkley was driving a Honda Accord around 7 p.m. that night when a Lincoln Navigator rear-ended him on Glenwood Avenue, according to charging papers. Berkley got out of his car and walked over to the Navigator while the other driver, Steven Whitemarsh, 49, remained in the front seat, according to witness testimony last week in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The two men appeared to have brief conversation through the open window, witnesses testified. Berkley then shot Whitemarsh in the face. One witness testified that a few seconds passed before Berkley fired a second bullet.

First-responders found Whitemarsh still strapped in his seatbelt. He was pronounced dead soon afterward. Berkley’s attorney argued last week that the case is about self-defense.

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