A Georgia attorney killed a man who he thought dented his car. Now, he heads to prison for life.
Recently, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Malynne Leftridge handed Bryan Keith Schmitt a life term in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder of Hamid Jahangard, 60. After two days of deliberation, Schmitt was found guilty and convicted of malice murder, two counts of felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
"My heart goes out to Mr. Jahangard’s daughters, who had to deal with the callous murder of their father not even a year after losing their mother to cancer. The defendant chose to turn a mild inconvenience into a situation that resulted in death, and now two families are broken and grieving because of his actions. I want to thank my prosecution team and the victim’s family for their courage and commitment to justice," said Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, according to 11 Alive.
On July 30, 2019, first responders rushed Jahangard to North Fulton Hospital, where he was declared dead two days after being run over by the defendant. According to prosecutors, the 51-year-old in-house attorney for a software development company was driving along River Valley Road when he heard something hit his Mercedes.
Coming to a stop and looking back, Schmitt sighted Jahangard bouncing a golf ball by his driveway while talking on the phone. Then, the defendant accosted the victim, leading the two men into a heated exchange.
In a rage, Schmitt abruptly made a left turn, striking some trash cans and Jahangard, who suffered from skull fractures. Schmitt’s defense lawyer Don Samuel argued the defendant miscalculated the radius of his turn with surveillance cameras showing his brake lights were on before the impact. Hence, Samuel concluded the hit was not intentional.
In addition, Samuel also highlighted Schmitt’s rescue attempt as he jumped out of the car to perform life-saving measures on Jahangard.
In a rebuttal, prosecutors highlighted the defendant’s conflicting statements to first responders on scene after telling them the victim had jumped in front of his car. Later, Schmitt told officers, Jahangard had thrown the trash cans in front of his car, causing him to swerve and hit the victim.
Jahangard’s daughters described their father as the embodiment of the American dream. The former real estate investor and native of Iran had moved to the U.S. to attend college while working as a busboy, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Schmitt would be eligible for parole after serving 30 years in prison. His lawyer plans to appeal.