Rockholt Guilty On All Counts In Road Rage Case

Thursday, June 15, 2006
Lance Rockholt is led away. Click to enlarge.
Lance Rockholt is led away. Click to enlarge.
- photo by John Wilson

A Walker County jury on Thursday afternoon found Lance Rockholt guilty on all counts in the "road rage" shooting of Mark Pickett.

Rockholt, 36, was convicted of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Rockholt was given a life prison sentence plus five years in connection with the incident last Oct. 28 in Chattanooga Valley.

Rockholt's earlier felony conviction was for aggravated assault in April 1990.

Mr. Pickett was shot after he stopped his vehicle on Chattanooga Valley Road and went back toward the Rockholt vehicle. His two children were in the victim's vehicle.

The defense sought to show that a female passenger in the Rockholt car, Lea Hird, had fired the fatal shots and that the victim had been driving erratically and had gone up to the Rockholt vehicle cursing. Ms. Hird took the witness stand and denied firing the gun.

The jury was out two and a half hours.

Judge Kristina Connelly presided over the trial, which began Monday.

The Pickett family left the courthouse without commenting.

The Picketts that night were on their way from a festival at Brainerd Baptist Church to their home at Cloudland, Ga.

A daughter testified that the road rage problem started when her father was driving near Ridgeland High School and accidentally cut in front of a vehicle that he had not seen.

Rockholt's mother and son stand outside court
Rockholt's mother and son stand outside court
- Photo2 by John Wilson

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