In a case of road rage, a Prince George's County man admitted yesterday to shooting at a motorist June 18 on busy Interstate 95 in Howard County and faces a potentially lengthy prison term.
William Franklin Shearer III, 29, of District Heights pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree assault and felony handgun use. The assault charge carries a maximum of 25 years in prison, although prosecutors said that sentencing guidelines call for 10 to 18 years.
Shearer, who is out on bail, is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 26.
According to prosecutors and court documents, Shearer and James Christopher Soresi, 29, were on their way home from an Orioles game on Father's Day when their Ford Explorer was hit from behind with a plastic Lipton Ice Tea bottle.
A passenger in the car behind them had thrown the bottle in retaliation after that car was hit by an object thrown from Soresi's and Shearer's car, Assistant State's Attorney Keith Cave said.
The cars were stopped in heavy traffic along southbound I-95 between Routes 175 and 216, and Shearer and Soresi got out of the sport utility vehicle, according to court documents. Shearer punched the front-seat passenger, James Peratino of Columbia, and Soresi punched the driver, Wynde Erhardt of Columbia, in the face, according to the documents.
Soresi, of Oxon Hill, has also been charged. His case is pending.
Erhardt drove away and the Explorer followed, according to Cave and charging documents.
As Peratino's and Erhardt's car drove onto the Route 216 exit, Shearer pointed a .357-caliber Magnum revolver, which belonged to Soresi, out the window and fired a shot at the car, hitting the driver's-side rear tire, Cave said.
State police stopped the Explorer on I-95 near Route 212 in Prince George's County. Shearer told investigators he'd had a few beers at the Orioles game, Cave said.