From State Attorney’s Office of Florida:
Circuit Judge William Wright denied a motion to dismiss charges against a motorcyclist accused of shooting at a motorist at a Jackson County gas station.
Kevin Denkevitz, 50, of Sanford, North Carolina, faces charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
On June 17, Denkevitz, Craig Frederickson, Terry Gibbs and Jessica Mock were traveling on I-10 from San Antonio, Texas, to North Carolina.
Denkevitz, Gibbs and Frederickson were riding motorcycles while Mock was driving behind them in a pickup towing an enclosed trailer.
Shortly before entering Jackson County, the group was passed by a Ford pickup driven by Ronald Haney, with his girlfriend and her teenage daughter, on their way to Key West.
Something happened to spark an angry reaction from Frederickson directed toward Haney and Haney sped away to avoid further conflict.
The groups separated and lost sight of each other, but Haney then exited onto Highway 71 to get gas.
While at the pump, his truck was spotted by the motorcyclists who drove across and surrounded Haney’s truck with their vehicles.
Haney got in and was trying to drive away when Frederickson opened the driver’s door and punched him in the mouth.
According to the police report, Denkevitz took a 9mm handgun from a storage compartment on his motorcycle and fired a shot at Haney’s truck.
Haney continued trying to drive off and hit Gibbs and Gibbs’ motorcycle.
Gibbs was thrown to the side but the motorcycle became lodged under the pickup with Haney frantically trying to dislodge the motorcycle as Denkevitz fired several more rounds into the truck.
Haney managed to get across Highway 71 to another gas station where he called 911.
Gibbs died from a massive head injury.
Denkevitz’s attorney filed a motion March 12, asking Wright to dismiss the charges against him because he believed he was protecting Gibbs from Haney and in an effort to stop Haney from dragging Gibbs as he was driving off.
Denkevitz claimed he didn’t know if Gibbs was under the truck, but shot into the vehicle to try to make Haney stop.
Wright wrote in his ruling that he found Denkevitz’s actions to be reckless:
“The placement of those shots at the truck show that Denkevitz was trying to shoot the three occupants. Rather than looking for where Gibbs was located, Denkevitz kept shooting and chased the truck and fired rounds in a reckless manner at the occupants of a vehicle who were only trying to flee a second encounter, which this Court finds was instigated by the actions of Denkevitz and his group.”
State Attorney Glenn Hess is trying Denkevitz himself with trial scheduled to begin May 27.
Denkevitz faces a mandatory 20 years in prison if convicted as charged.