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Youth Gets Maximum for Killing Motorist Who Cut Him Off

October 22, 1993

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A college student drew the maximum 22-year sentence Thursday for fatally shooting a motorist who cut him off.

″You killed a person you never knew, you never spoke to, because of anger over traffic,″ Judge David Wiggins told Talley Boatwright, 20.

The victim, 40-year-old Patrick Lee, was doing about 80 mph in his red sports car and weaving in and out of traffic on Interstate 95 on April 17, a passenger in Boatwright’s pickup truck testified.

Lee cut in front of Boatwright and slammed on the brakes, the passenger said. Boatwright, a student at Florida Community College, fired from about 50 feet behind, hitting Lee once in the head.

Other witnesses, however, said Boatwright pursued Lee for more than two miles before shooting him.

″I guess you have to suffer the consequences of what you do, and let this be a lesson to all those teen-agers out there who want to be gangsters,″ Boatwright said as bailiffs led him away in handcuffs.

Lee’s widow, Kathi, said she was encouraged by the maximum sentence but thought that Boatwright should have been charged with murder.

Boatwright was convicted of manslaughter with a firearm Sept. 22.

He apologized to the victim’s family on Wednesday, the first day of the two-day sentencing hearing.

Defense attorney Thomas Fallis said he planned to appeal.

Boatwright could be eligible for parole in less than five years, the prosecutor said.