Mistrial declared in Phoenix road rage trial

PHOENIX - A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a Phoenix man accused of killing another driver in a road rage incident nearly four years ago. 

Maricopa County prosecutors say jurors were unable to reach a verdict Friday for 49-year-old John Chester Stuart. A new trial date has been set for Jan. 12. 

Stuart acted as his own attorney in the second-degree murder trial. 

His defense was that 49-year-old Thomas Beasley was shot in self-defense in January 2008. 

Stuart says the gun accidentally went off during a struggle between the two in north Phoenix.

Police said Beasley's wife was in the car and told investigators the suspect passed their vehicle at a high rate of speed and when they stopped at the next red light Stuart rolled down his window and flipped them off.

Police said when Beasley rolled down his window Stuart began verbally abusing Beasley's wife and the men began yelling at each other.

Stuart then allegedly pulled out a weapon and shot Beasley in the face and left the scene.

A passenger in Stuart's car reportedly told police Beasley was the one calling her names after blocking their car door.

She said Beasley got out of his car first and threatened to shoot Stuart.

Witnesses reportedly told police Beasley was backing away from Stuart when he was shot. He was unarmed.

Stuart was arrested a short time after the shooting.

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