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Slain Man's Wife Describes 'Road Rage' Shooting

HOWELL (WWJ/AP) - The wife of a Michigan man who authorities say was fatally shot by another motorist in a road rage incident said the man charged in his death was emotionless after the shooting.

Martin Zale, 69, of Howell, is charged with an open count of murder in the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Derek Flemming, of Howell. The shooting happened Sept. 2 in Livingston County's Genoa Township, about 45 miles west-northwest of Detroit.

"He was just sitting in his truck and when I was kneeling on the ground with my husband who was profusely bleeding, I looked at Mr. Zale and he had his head turned and was just watching," said Amy Flemming, 40, who described the shooting in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. "It wasn't anger, it wasn't shock. He didn't seem like he was remorseful or anything."

Martin Zale
Martin Zale (Booking photo)

She has told police that her husband was shot in the head after getting out of his vehicle to ask why Zale was driving aggressively. She told the newspaper her husband walked up and asked the other driver: "What's your problem?"

"And it was a second or maybe two after Derek said that to when there was a gunshot," Flemming said. "As soon as I heard the gunshot and I saw him fall, I was getting out of the car and running to him."

"I screamed at him, 'Don't leave, don't leave. I love you. I need you, the kids need you,'" she said. "But I think that in my heart I knew he was gone. As soon as I saw him ... The way that he crumpled."

Zale's attorney, Melissa Pearce, said she will argue self-defense when the case goes to trial. She said Tuesday outside Howell District Court that "the whole story has not been told."

Amy Flemming's lawyer, William Moore, said the family was considering a civil suit against Zale. Flemming said her two children - Julian, 8, and Lily, who turned 6 two days after her father was killed - are struggling with their father's death.

"Both of them asked if they could go to the trial, which I told them no," she said. "I think they understand a lot more than people would think. They've asked a lot of hard questions and deserve to have their questions answered."

The next court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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