Man acquitted of felony menacing
May 1, 2014
EAGLE — A jury took about an hour to acquit an Arkansas man charged with wielding a gun during a traffic altercation near Edwards.
A jury found Scott Hunter, of Little Rock, Ark., not guilty of felony menacing. Prosecutors said he threatened three people with a gun he was licensed to carry after two vehicles collided while traveling westbound on Interstate 70.
The jury took a little more than an hour to decide he did nothing of the sort.
Hunter and his wife were sightseeing and he captured the entire incident on the GoPro he had mounted on the dash of his SUV. Hunter even sent the GoPro video to the deputy who investigated the case, hoping prosecutors would see it and drop the case.
“There is no question whether he pulled a gun. There is a question about whether he feared for his safety and the safety of his wife.”
Attorney for Scott Hunter
Burt Levin, Hunter's attorney, repeatedly showed that GoPro video to the jury of eight men and five women.
"He's fortunate that he had a GoPro and a gun," Levin said. "He was charged with menacing someone with a gun, which he did not do. He's a 51-year-old man from Little Rock, Ark., a techie, with his wife, 74-year-old parents and a step-child. He wanted them to see the scenery of Colorado."
His accusers, Charles Dieterle and Rebecca Thompson, claimed Hunter was cruising in the left lane and slammed on his brakes, causing their truck to rear-end Hunter's SUV.
The video shows Hunter was in the left lane passing a car in the right lane. Dieterle came up from behind and moved into the left lane behind Hunter. Dieterle hit him from behind when they were traveling westbound on I-70 near Edwards. As Hunter pulled onto the shoulder, Dieterle rear ended him again as they came to a stop.
Hunter called 911. "He pushed me off the highway … he pushed me off the shoulder of the road. I feared for my life, my life and my wife's," Hunter told the dispatcher.
He told the dispatcher he has a concealed carry permit and was carrying a gun. When police arrived he told them he had a gun and that he would leave it on the dash.
Hunter testified that he showed them the gun for a matter of seconds, then put it away. He said he's 267 pounds and after he determined who he was dealing with, he didn't think they would be much of a threat.
"I pulled it after he got out of his vehicle after he ran me off the road," Hunter said.
"There is no question whether he pulled a gun. There is a question about whether he feared for his safety and the safety of his wife," Levin said.
Thompson and Dieterle live in Mesquite, Nev. They've been engaged off-and-on for 30 years, Thompson said.
They were headed west to Mesquite, Nev., from Quincy, Ill., where her daughter graduated cum laude from nursing school.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.