Prosecutor Confident of Murder Charge in Fatal Shooting

September 5, 2014

Prosecutor Confident of Murder Charge in Fatal Shooting

9/5/14 - Saying it was not a case of self-defense; Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt announced Thursday that his office had filed a charge of open murder against the man involved in Tuesday’s fatal shooting in Genoa Township. 69-year-old Martin Edward Zale of Marion Township shot 43-year-old Derek Flemming of Howell at the intersection of Grand River and Chilson Road. On Thursday, he was arraigned on, and pleaded not guilty to, charges of open murder, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, and felony firearms. If convicted, Zale faces a sentence of up to life in prison. He is scheduled for an exam conference next Tuesday. The attorney representing the victim’s family says Flemming and his wife were driving eastbound on Grand River when they were passed by Zale, who was driving erratically and dangerously. Flemming reportedly got out of his car at the Chilson to ask Zale what the problem was, but Zale produced a pistol and shot him. Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt held a press conference yesterday where he told reporters his office considered the possibility of self-defense, but he feels comfortable charging Zale with murder. Vailliencourt says Zale had a license to carry a concealed pistol, and that the case is not about the right to carry firearms. He also said numerous witnesses have come forward to improve their understanding of the events, but anyone with information is still encouraged to come forward and tell what they know to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department. Meanwhile, Flemming's cousin has created a gofundme page to raise money for Flemming's wife, Amy, and their children, Julian and Lily, ages 5 and 7. As of this morning it had garnered nearly $5,000 in donations. There is also a memorial Facebook page dedicated to Flemming's memory, which has more than 1,200 "likes" since it was created Wednesday. You can Click Here to access that. (JK)

Web Link: http://www.gofundme.com/dzt828
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