Man Who Shot Trucker Twice In The Back During Road Rage Fight Is Sentenced
Omaha, Nebraska – The man convicted of murdering 32-year-old truck driver James Womack during a September 2017 traffic dispute was sentenced today in an Omaha courtroom.
Michael Benson, 26, was found guilty of second-degree murder in March after prosecutors alleged he shot Womack twice in the back following a road rage confrontation September 18, 2017.
Benson was also found guilty on four other charges including tampering with a witness.
On Tuesday, Benson was sentenced to 67-89 years in prison for his crimes.
According to testimony in the case, the confrontation began when Womack became angry with Benson after being cut off in traffic.
Womack, who was an Army veteran and driver for Omaha-based Hill Bros. Transportation, then pulled up to a traffic light in his semi at 60th and L Streets during rush hour.
Womack exited his big rig and approached Benson’s pickup truck which was also stopped at the light.
Womack began pounding on the passenger-side window and yelling at Benson.
Witnesses testified Womack then began walking away and was about to climb back into his big rig when Benson then fired multiple shots striking Womack in the back twice.
According to witnesses, Womack was two lanes away when he was struck and killed.
Numerous witnesses recounted the chaos that ensued as they attempted to tend to Womack during the busy rush hour traffic.
Benson’s court-appointed attorney, Beau Finley, argued that prosecutors could not offer proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Benson fired the shots.
Further he claimed prosecutors could not substantiate claims that Benson was even in the pickup truck that had been involved in what was described as an apparent cat-and-mouse chase with Womack’s semi.
However, prosecutors Ryan Lindberg and Amy Jacobsen provided data from a GPS tracking device on the truck that Benson was driving and surveillance video that showed him driving the truck that day.
Benson claimed that it was not him in the truck at the time because that truck had been stolen days before the shooting.
Douglas County jurors deliberated three hours before rendering their guilty verdict.
Benson will be eligible for parole in 37 and a half years. He will be 63 at that time.
“James Will Be Missed By All”
Womack was a father of three, and served his country proudly.
President of Hill Bros. Transportation, Al Hill, told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) shortly after today’s sentencing that Womack “will be missed by all” and was a great dad and truck driver.
“James was a hard-working, reliable driver, who we could always count on to do his job,” Hill said. “He was respectful, kind, and never complained about how long or short of a night he had.”
Hill continued, “We could always count on James to deliver his loads on time when we left for the day. He was such a good father to his kids and he served his country with 3 tours in Iraq.”