Martin Zale (Booking photo)

Martin Zale (Booking photo)

HOWELL (WWJ) – A 69-year-old Howell man will be held without bond, charged in connection with an apparent road rage shooting.

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Martin Zale was arraigned on open murder and a felony firearm charges in the shooting death of 43-year-old Derek Flemming.

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Livingston County prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt says the burden is on them to prove that this was not self-defense.

“You have to have an honest and reasonable belief that you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm – those are the circumstances. You can’t just shoot somebody because you are not happy with them,” said Vailliencourt.

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Vailliencourt says his case will include more than a dozen witnesses — who stayed around to talk to police after the shooting.

Zale was taken into custody immediately after the shooting Tuesday along Grand River at Chilson Road, near Howell.

Attorney William Moore, who represents the victim’s wife, told WWJ Newsradio 950 that Zale was driving erratically, and Flemming was shot after getting out of his car, approaching Zale, and asking him,“Do you have a problem?”

A witness told a 911 operator that the shooter had fired “out the driver’s window, and the guy is laying on the ground.”

Moore said Flemming and his wife were on their way to pick up their two young children after their first day off school at the time of the incident.

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Zale is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 9.