MARIN COUNTY (KPIX 5) – A Marin County physician is off the hook for shooting another driver during a road-rage incident last July. The decision to drop the charges followed some shaky testimony from the victim.
Dr. James Simon left the courtroom Tuesday with tears of joy in his eyes. Late Tuesday afternoon, the judge in the case dropped an attempted manslaughter charge against Simon.
“Beyond description. I’m speechless,” the doctor said, minutes after the charge was dropped.
“It’s a very tough time for Dr. Simon, very emotional time. He’s gone through a significant amount of trauma. This was the right decision,” said defense attorney Charles Dresow.
Simon said he was scared for his life when William Osenton followed the doctor back to his home during the incident. The defense said that fear for his life gave the doctor the right to shoot Osenton twice in self-defense.
Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian disagrees with the judge’s decision and fearful of the precedent set by this case.
“I’m very disappointed in the ruling. I think it sends the wrong message to the community. Since I have been DA, I have been extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence. I don’t want that in our community. We have to have some community standards,” Berberian said.
Testimony called into question Ostenten’s memory of the incident. He reported having only “flashes” of memory. At one point, he told police that he put his hands up and said ‘Don’t shoot,’ but he also told police he never saw the doctor holding a gun.
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