DA: No charges in York City road-rage homicide

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

No charges will be filed against a York-area man who fatally shot another driver during a road-rage altercation in York City.

James Robert Weimert, 29, recently of North Beaver Street in York City, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest during the Nov. 12 encounter, according to York City Interim Police Chief Troy Bankert.

York County District Attorney Dave Sunday said  Friday, Jan. 5, that he would not prosecute Michael Yeaple, 27, of the York area for the homicide.

Family members react at the Nov. 12, 2017, fatal shooting of James Weimert, killed during an altercation following a road-rage incident.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

"Based on incontrovertible evidence, it was clear to us that we would have a burden to overcome regarding a self-defense claim on the part of (Yeaple)," he told The York Dispatch.

Can't meet burden: "And based on that evidence, we're of the opinion that we could not meet that burden beyond a reasonable doubt," Sunday said. "We would not be in a position to prove ... that he was not entitled to a self-defense claim."

The district attorney and his staff reviewed York City Police's report on the incident as well as "supplemental materials" — including eyewitness statements, medical records, ballistics reports and a cellphone video of the shooting in real time — before declining to prosecute Yeaple, according to a news release from Kyle King, chief administrator of the DA's office.

The release notes that people aren't required to prove they acted in self-defense. Rather, it is up to the prosecution to prove that they didn't act in self-defense.

And in this case, that burden could not be met, the release states.

More:Police: York shooter remains free as homicide investigated

The background: Weimert was shot by Yeaple during an altercation, Bankert has said.

Just after 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, vehicles driven by the two men crashed at East Philadelphia and North Pine streets.

Weimert and Yeaple got out of their vehicles and started to argue, police said.

The altercation turned physical, at which point Yeaple shot Weimert, according to Bankert.

Weimert, known as Jamie, did not have a gun, Bankert confirmed.

Wives, kids watching: Both men had their wives and children in their respective vehicles, he said.

Weimert, originally from Cobb Island, Maryland, was rushed to York Hospital but died in the ambulance bay, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

Yeaple was taken into custody by police and questioned but later released, police said.

"We know he committed the act, but we don't know yet whether ... there's any type of justification," Bankert had said at the time.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.