By Dick Cook
LAFAYETTE, Ga. —; A Walker County Superior Court jury began deliberations this afternoon in the murder Lance Coleman Rockholt, 36, charged in the Oct. 28, 2005, “road rage” slaying of Mark A. Pickett.
Mr. Pickett, of Cloudland, Ga., was shot to death in the middle of Chattanooga Valley Road after he confronted another motorist following what authorities described as an incident of aggressive driving.
His daughter and son, 13 and 6 at the time of the incident, were in the vehicle when their father was gunned down. The young girl was the first witness for prosecutors when the trial began Monday.
Mr. Rockholt is charged with murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, officials said.
A jury of four men and eight women in Superior Court Judge Kristina Cook Connelly’s courtroom will decide if Mr. Rockholt will spend life in prison.
District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin, the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit prosecutor, told jurors that Mr. Rockholt gave authorities different statements concerning the shooting, saying first he was out of town with a truck driver friend, then saying that he was in town on the night of the killing but nowhere near the scene, and then accepting responsibility for the shooting in a confession to a Chattanooga police officer.
Public defender David Dunn told jurors that a passenger in his client’s vehicle, former girlfriend Leah Hird, pulled the trigger when Mr. Picket confronted the driver.
E-mail Dick Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.