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Husband, wife get jail terms for road rage incident

Cary Ashby • Oct 20, 2013 at 10:03 PM

A New London husband and wife face separate jail terms for their roles in a road rage incident.

Steve L. Moore, 37, and Mary L. Moore, 35, must pay nearly $8,700 in restitution for the victim's medical expenses, which were the result of Steve Moore attacking the man with a baseball bat. Each of the defendants was fined $250 Wednesday and must attend and pay for anger management counseling.

The Moores earlier pleaded guilty to amended charges. Steve Moore was convicted of attempted felonious assault, a third-degree felony, while his wife was convicted of aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler called the circumstances of the incident "crazy."

What's so weird, Leffler said, is how far the husband went with going back to New London McDonald's, where the driver of a U-Haul truck nearly hit Mary Moore's new Kia sedan as she and her 13-year-old daughter were waiting in the drive-thru lane.

"This is just crazy stuff. ... This shouldn't have happened," Leffler said. "Some punishment is necessary."

Mary Moore honked her horn at a U-Haul driver who she suspected was getting too close to her vehicle. Defense attorney Jack Bradley, who represented the couple, said the other driver rolled down his window and said "some nasty things to her" before parking and going into McDonald's. He said Moore wasn't concerned about herself at the moment, but her daughter.

Moore then returned to her home at 5635 Fayette Road, New London, and told her husband about what happened.

"They got themselves all fired up at the kitchen table," Leffler said. "This is nuts. ... This is serious stuff."

With Steve Moore having a prior domestic violence charge, Leffler accused the defendant of having the kind of temperament to track down the other driver with a bat. The prosecutor said that type of action is inappropriate.

On the way to New London, Moore saw his wife's new sedan "completely destroyed" and the U-Haul driver jumping back into the undamaged truck, Moore's attorney said.

"I'm not saying Steve went about this the right way," said Bradley, who added his client should have notified the New London Police Department and let them investigate the matter.

"None of this is justified, but there is some justification," said the defense attorney, who added that Moore "lost it" when he saw his wife and daughter in a heavily damaged car.

"He didn't see the accident. He made it clear to police he didn't see the accident," Bradley said.

Moore said he has to live with the fact he should have notified police. He said he intended to go to McDonald's to see why employees served the victim and his passenger and why police weren't involved.

"I'd like to say I'm very sorry for my actions," Moore said. "I wasn't going up there to start something."

Authorities had said Moore "may have been having a few drinks" when his wife returned to their house and Mary Moore got in her new car and drove in the U-Haul's lane to stop the driver.

Steve Moore and his attorney disagreed with some of those allegations and Leffler saying there may have been "a racial overtone to this." The victim was convicted of trafficking in drugs through Cuyahoga County.

Moore's attorney said no victim deserved to be attacked, but he doubted the man suffered serious injuries. The judge said the victim's statement indicated the assault aggravated a previous injury and required surgery.

"My wife didn't go over there to stop a 26-foot long U-Haul truck with a Kia Soul; it just doesn't happen," Moore said.

"I'm very, very sorry for getting involved in this incident," his wife said during her sentencing hearing.

Steve Moore was sentenced to 90 days in the Huron County Jail on the work release program while his wife has a similar, 30-day term. The judge ruled the jail should schedule Moore's sentence after his wife's is done so there will be someone at home to take care of their two children.

If Moore violates the terms of his three years of probation, he faces three years in prison. His wife, who is on two years of probation, faces a 150-day suspended jail term.

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