Shooting Trial Delayed Again
Date Pushed Back To April 16 To Accommodate Legislator’s Schedule
Posted: March 15, 2013
HARRISONBURG — A Rockingham County judge has delayed the trial of an Elkton man accused of shooting a county resident in the neck following an alleged “road rage” incident in January to accommodate a state legislator’s schedule.
Rudolph Dean, 47, is charged with aggravated malicious wounding, a crime that carries a maximum punishment of life in prison.
His trial was scheduled to begin April 2.
During a hearing in Rockingham County Circuit Court Thursday, Dean’s defense attorney, Onzlee Ware, told Judge T.J. Wilson that the Virginia General Assembly’s veto session is April 3. Ware is a Democratic delegate representing Roanoke.
The attorneys discussed the option of starting the trial April 4, but Wilson said he was concerned that the veto session might run longer so he scheduled the trial to begin April 16.
“I’ve been there for 10 years and it’s never gone long [but] anything can happen,” Ware said.
State law requires judges to adjust court hearings and trials if the attorney in the case is serving in the legislature.
The attorneys in the case said they would check with their witnesses and notify the court if there was a scheduling conflict.
Rockingham County sheriff’s deputies say Dean shot Robert Crawford, 43, outside Crawford’s home at 7011 South East Side Highway south of Elkton, on the afternoon of Jan. 30.
The dispute between the two men began on Spotswood Trail when Dean was driving his pickup truck slowly in the passing lane, deputies say.
Crawford told investigators he used an obscene gesture when passing Dean on the highway. After Dean followed Crawford to his home, an altercation ensued that ended with the shooting, deputies say.
Prosecutors say it is a case of road rage, but Dean, who is now free on a $50,000 bond, denies any wrongdoing. He claims the shooting was in self-defense.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org