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Bradenton Road Rage Shooter Convicted of Manslaughter


BRADENTON — Nicholas Koontz was found guilty of Manslaughter with a Firearm this week following a jury trial for a 2021 road rage incident in Bradenton.

In Oct. of 2021, Koontz and the victim, who did not know one another, were in an apparent road rage altercation while driving in west Bradenton. During the altercation, the victim evidently threw his paper McDonald’s cup, which contained ice and soda, at the Koontz’s car.

Koontz then followed the victim at a high rate of speed until they came to a stop on a residential street. When the unarmed victim exited his car, Koontz exited his car and shot the victim several times.

The incident was captured on a doorbell camera. Koontz was arrested within an hour of the murder but made no statements to law enforcement. At trial, he claimed for the first time that he was acting in self-defense.

"The retaliatory actions taken by this defendant in murdering this victim over a minor dispute cannot be tolerated in our community," said Assistant State Attorney Rebecca Freel, the lead prosecutor in the case. "We appreciate the hard work of the homicide detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in this investigation, as well as the time and attention given to the case by the jury."

The crime carries a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in the Department of Corrections. Sentencing is scheduled for a future date to be determined by the court.


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