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Middletown man convicted in road rage case

Marc Lee Weinstein faces minimum of five years in prison

July 15, 2010|By DON AINES

A Middletown, Md., man faces a minimum of five years in prison after a Washington County Circuit Court jury convicted him Thursday of using a deadly weapon in the commission of a violent crime in a 2009 road rage incident.

Marc Lee Weinstein, 55, also was convicted of two counts each of first- and second-degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment. The weapons charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said.

Weinstein's attorney, John Salvatore, asked Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. to allow Weinstein to remain free on bail pending the completion of a presentence report. Long granted the request and said the report will take about 60 days to complete.

At about 7 p.m. on July 12, 2009, Maryland State Police received a report that the driver of a black Mercedes had pointed a gun at another motorist on westbound Interstate 70 near Md. 66, according to the statement of probable cause in the case. The Mercedes had the vanity license plate, WEINO, the statement said.

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A Maryland State Police trooper in an unmarked vehicle saw the Mercedes as it passed the Md. 63 on-ramp, the statement said. The trooper and two marked cruisers from the Washington County Sheriff's Office pulled behind the Mercedes and activated their emergency equipment, according to the statement.

The Mercedes continued west for about two miles before pulling over, the statement said. The trooper approached the vehicle with his weapon drawn and ordered the driver, later identified as Weinstein, from the car, according to the statement.

There were two children in the back seat of the car, and when the trooper asked a deputy if she had found a gun, one of the children pointed to the car's center console, where police found a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver in a holster, the statement said.

In his opening statement, Wilson told the jury that Paul McCracken and Lindsey Shindledecker, both of Waynesboro, Pa., were driving west when the Mercedes pulled up close behind them.

"Unfortunately, a game of road cat-and-mouse began," with Weinstein driving aggressively, Wilson said. When McCracken got off I-70 at Md. 66, Weinstein passed his car and pointed the gun at McCracken, Wilson said.

Salvatore told the jury that it was McCracken who "drove his car in such a manner that Mr. Weinstein became frightened."

Salvatore told the jury that Weinstein, who was licensed to carry the gun, "displayed" the weapon during the incident, but it remained holstered and was never pointed at McCracken or Shindledecker.

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