Second man convicted in road rage case

April 26, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The second of two men accused in a road rage shooting on Interstate 95 last year has been convicted of gun and drug charges related to the incident, but acquitted of more serious assault charges.

A Howard County jury took three hours Tuesday to find James C. Soresi, 29, of Oxon Hill, not guilty of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and felony handgun use - charges that could have resulted in a lengthy prison term.

The jury found Soresi guilty of transporting a handgun in a vehicle and possession of marijuana; the two charges combined carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison, prosecutors said.

Soresi had been accused of driving the vehicle involved in the June 18 incident and handing the shooter, William Franklin Shearer III, a .357 Taurus revolver just before a single shot was fired. The bullet hit a tire in a car driven by Wynde Ehrhardt of Columbia.

Shearer, who testified during Soresi's two-day trial, pleaded guilty in November to charges of first-degree assault and felony handgun use. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term this year.

According to court documents, the two men were driving south on I-95 when their Ford Explorer was hit with a bottle from behind. The men stopped the car, got out and punched two people in Ehrhard's car, which was behind them.

Ehrhardt drove off and the Explorer followed, according to documents. As Ehrhardt exited onto Route 216, Shearer fired at the car, according to the court documents. Troopers stopped Soresi's sport utility vehicle near Route 212 in Prince George's County.

Sentencing for Soresi is scheduled July 9.

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