Ohio State's Stillwagon Acquitted In Road Rage Case
Jim Stillwagon was accused of assaulting another driver in a road rage incident last fall.
But Friday, as his trial came to a close, a judge cleared Stillwagon of all charges.
Stillwagon's attorneys argued he was the victim, not the aggressor, in the violent confrontation with another driver.
And a Delaware county judge agreed.
"Very happy. I'm glad this is over with," said former Ohio State University football star Jim Stillwagon, just after a judge threw out the felonious assault charges against him.
Had he been convicted, he could have faced up to 29 years in prison.
Delaware police say 63-year-old Stillwagon and Richard Mattingly were involved in a 14- mile-long road rage incident last September.
Stillwagon was on his motorcycle, Mattingly in his pickup.
It ended with Stillwagon firing shots at Mattingly, who last year told reporters he had tried to apologize to Stillwagon.
“He thought, I think, that I was messing with him because my truck was acting up. My transmission was jerking. It was speeding up, it was slowing," said Mattingly in October of 2012.
But this week on the stand, Mattingly admitted he was drinking at the time and driving "like an idiot".
Stillwagon's attorneys argued that Mattingly was the aggressor, and Stillwagon only acted in self-defense.
"The judge said this is an absurdity, and he dismissed it,” said Stillwagon attorney Michael Miller. “And the judge was right. It was a travesty to charge this man. The system really let him down."
"It's caused a lot of hardship on people at my business that we had to let go, because of association with me," Stillwagon said of the ordeal.
Stillwagon's attorney says his client was the victim of an “abysmal, prejudiced investigation”.
Stillwagon says he's ready to move forward.
"I'm glad that there's a justice system and I had my opportunity to have my case heard,” said Stillwagon. “But it never should have been."
10TV was not able to reach Mattingly for comment.
Two people who witnessed the incident told 10TV News they were shocked and disappointed by the acquittal.
One said he and his wife were never contacted by prosecutors to testify, and felt that could have impacted the trial's outcome.
Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien said in a statement that she had no comment until she is able to evaluate the day's events.
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