A man has been sentenced to four years in prison following a road rage incident that injured a young woman in Alexandria, Virginia. Ernest Stickell, 59, shot Dejonte Holt twice on July 19, 2017, according to NBC Washington. He hit the 33-year-old in the neck and shoulder.
The road rage bout began on the Beltway in the morning. Ricardo Jennings, Holt's boyfriend, testified that Stickell cut off her SUV twice. The couple got out to confront him. "What's your problem?" Jennings said he asked Stickell. Words were exchanged. That's when he alleged that Stickell called him the N-word and opened fire. Jennings was spared from the gunfire.
Stickell claimed that he fired out of panic and acted in self-defense. Stickell's defense lawyer added that the defendant didn't know why the couple confronted him on the road. Jennings, who is black, admitted to calling Stickell, who is white, a "cracker."
“I just felt the blood coming down, I don’t know where I was hit,” Holt said, according to the Washington Post. “I just knew I didn’t want to die.” She added, “He was angry, like he knew me, like I did something to him."
"You don't bring a gun to a fistfight. It wasn't fair," Jennings' mother said. "It should not have happened. No one should use a gun for the wrong reason."
Following the gunshots, Holt was taken to Fairfax Inova Hospital where she learned that a bullet had hit her neck. Jennings ran and hid in the bushes. Meanwhile, Stickell drove away. Authorities shared that he had thrown his gun away and didn't know where it was. Witnesses caught his license plate and he eventually turned himself in the next day.
“He was . . . clearly shaken from the incident and seemed scared,” Cpl. Jerimy Tindal testified about Stickell turning himself in.
This is not the first racial allegation against Stickell. He was the target of a racial harassment suit in 2001, as News4 reported. A man Stickell supervised at an auto glass company alleged that he used racial slurs against him, against customers and even his own wife. Stickell's wife is black.
Stickell was convicted Friday of one count of unlawful wounding. He was sentenced to four years in prison.
[Photo: Alexandria Sheriff's Office]