Scottsdale Defense Attorney David Appleton Faces Murder Rap After Road-Rage Shooting

"Inconsistencies" in his story about fatally shooting a man during an apparent road-rage incident last night has led to the arrest of Scottsdale attorney David Appleton, who once served as the president of the Phoenix Trial Lawyer's Association..

About 7 p.m. yesterday, Appleton called police to report that he'd shot a man in the parking lot of a Scottsdale pharmacy near Pima and Pinnacle Peak roads.

When police got to the scene, they found Appleton waiting near his Toyota SUV. Also near the SUV was the body of 50-year-old Paul Pearson, whom Appleton admitted to shooting.

Appleton, Scottsdale police say, was cooperative, even as he was taken into custody.

When questioned by police about the shooting, Appleton told detectives he was driving north on Pima Road when he noticed a car tailgating him. He pulled over in the parking lot of a nearby CVS pharmacy to see what the other driver wanted.

Once in the parking lot, the driver of the other vehicle, Pearson, got out of his car, walked over to Appleton's SUV, reached in the open window, and started choking him -- according to Appleton, that is.

The attorney then grabbed a pistol to try and scare Pearson away, but his attacker was unfazed, and continued to choke Appleton.

Appleton then fired one shot, killing Pearson.

Police questioned Appleton for hours and determined his story didn't add up. He was placed under arrest about 1:30 a.m. today.

Appleton was booked into a Maricopa County jail on one count of second-degree murder.


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