Man convicted in 2008 Phoenix road rage shooting

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A man accused of killing another driver in a Phoenix road rage incident in 2008 has been convicted of second-degree murder and drive-by shooting.

Maricopa County prosecutors say jurors returned their verdicts Tuesday against 51-year-old John Chester Stuart.

They say Stuart faces up to 43 years in prison when he's sentenced on Oct. 24.

Stuart acted as his own attorney in the trial.

His defense was that 49-year-old Thomas Beasley was shot in self-defense in January 2008.

Stuart says the gun accidentally went off during a struggle between the two.

"Although this defendant attempted to justify his actions by claiming self-defense, this jury was able to clearly able to apply the important distinction Arizona law makes between the legitimate and illegitimate use of deadly force," remarked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.  "While nothing will ever fully assuage the grief felt by the victim's family and friends for the loss of their loved one, today's result at least provides a measure of justice for a senseless act of violence," he added.

Stuart's first trial ended in a mistrial in November 2011.

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