Road Rage Death In Mesa Nets Man 25 Year Prison Sentence

prison bars
(Photo by Jenn Vargas/Creative Commons)

A Maricopa County man, Frank Martin Lawrence III,  has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the death of James William Ackerman Jr. and the assault of Carolyn Bui.

Lawrence pled guilty to one count of second-degree murder, a Class One felony, and one count of aggravated assault, a Class Six felony for his crimes committed in 2020.

According to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, on the evening of January 11, 2020, Carolyn Bui was in Mesa driving home with her boyfriend, James William Ackerman Jr. As Bui was preparing to make a left turn, Lawrence veered into her lane causing Bui to honk. Lawrence followed Bui to her apartment complex and drove donuts in the parking lot before exiting his vehicle and punching Bui in the face. Ackerman attempted to record the defendant’s license plate. Lawrence then chased Ackerman down with his truck, striking and killing him.

“This defendant’s out-of-control behavior cost the life of an innocent victim,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell. “Road rage is a criminal offense that happens all too often in our state.”

According to a survey in 2023 by Forbes Advisor, Arizona is the top state when it comes to confrontational drivers. In 2022, there were 622 suspected road rage incidents in the state according to the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

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