Valley lawyer involved in fatal road rage case will not face criminal charges

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By Warren Trent By Warren Trent
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

Scottsdale, Ariz.--  A Scottsdale lawyer involved in a fatal case of road rage will not face criminal charges.

According to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, a grand jury said there is not enough evidence to charge David Appleton with murder.

Appleton was arrested in Nov. 2011 in the killing of Scottsdale business owner Paul Pearson.

Appleton claims Pearson was tailgating him, then followed him into a CVS parking lot near Pima and Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale.  Appleton told police Pearson approached his car and tried to choke him. Appleton said he grabbed his gun and fired one shot in self defense.

Police say Appleton dialed 911 to report he had just shot someone. Upon arrival police found a 50-year old man with a gunshot wound. Pearson was rushed to SHC-Osborn where he died just after 8pm.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he respects the ruling by the grand jury and says his office will not move forward with charges unless the investigation changes or new evidence is presented.

"The decision that was made by the grand jury had to do with the case that we currently have," says Montgomery. "Unless or until something changes with respect to what we have on hand and our assessment of what we can do with it, we're in a holding pattern."

Appleton's attorney, Ed Novak, says his client has suffered emotionally and financially, as the case has dragged on for the past 14 months. "His practice has deteriorated considerably because of the negative publicity," says Novak. "He's suffered a lot because of this."

"That's not to say the Pearson family hasn't suffered," Novak adds. " We understand that and we feel for them."

Appleton has been involved in at least five road rage incidents since 2005.