Man found guilty of reckless manslaughter in shooting death at drive-thru

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Cordell Jude By Mike Gertzman Cordell Jude By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A man who claimed self-defense in a shooting outside a fast-food restaurant has been found guilty of a lesser charge.

Cordell Jude was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of Daniel Adkins, 29. On Wednesday, a jury found him guilty of reckless manslaughter.

Adkins was shot during a confrontation in a drive-thru lane at a Taco Bell at 51st Avenue and Baseline Road in April 2012.

Adkins was walking his dog when Jude pulled his car out of the restaurant's drive-thru lane and almost struck him.

Adkins allegedly hit the car with his hand or an object and yelled at Jude. That's when Jude said he feared for his life and pulled out a gun, shooting and killing Adkins.

Police didn't arrest Jude after the shooting. But four months later, a grand jury indicted him.

Jude claimed self-defense, but prosecutor Kirsten Valenzuela told jurors that Jude's actions constituted second-degree murder.

"This defendant overreacted," she said. "He was already being reckless and he drives around Arizona with a gun and one in the chamber ready to go."

Jude's defense attorney said Adkins posed a threat to Jude and his pregnant girlfriend, who was also in the car.