A Georgia driver killed a man in a fit of road rage after a golf ball hit his Mercedes, prosecutors told news outlets.
Now, the driver accused of striking the man with his car has been ordered to serve life in prison, according to WAGA.
Bryan Schmitt was convicted of murder on Sept. 20, more than three years after Atlanta-area prosecutors said he intentionally ran into Hamid Jahangard, a 60-year-old real-estate investor. But an attorney representing Schmitt countered the prosecutors’ narrative, WSB-TV reported.
“Mr. Schmitt did not intend to kill or assault or otherwise harm Mr. Jahangard in any way,” defense lawyer John Garland said, according to the TV station. “Mr. Jahangard’s death was a tragic accident.”
An attorney believed to be Garland didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment on Sept. 22.
The case dates to July 2019, when the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Jahangard was bouncing a golf ball in a Sandy Springs driveway. “The ball bounced into the road as Schmitt’s Mercedes drove by,” prosecutors said in a news release obtained by WXIA.
Schmitt intentionally hit and killed Jahangard after he accused the 60-year-old of throwing the golf ball toward his car, the district attorney’s office told news outlets.
For his part, Schmitt said the crash was an accident that happened after the two men argued and that Jahangard had hurled a trash can toward his car. But prosecutors said surveillance video didn’t show a trash can, according to WSB-TV.
After the suspected road-rage incident, Jahangard was taken to a hospital with a fractured skull and broken leg. He died days later, news outlets reported.
“He intended to be there for us every day, and he couldn’t be because of one man’s actions,” said his daughter, Sepeideh Jahangard, according to WAGA.
Schmitt, who had worked as an attorney, was found guilty of murder as well as two counts each of felony murder and aggravated assault. He was given a life sentence and has a chance for parole, according to the TV station.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Sept. 22.