Trial Begins for Rudy Dean - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Trial Begins for Rudy Dean

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A man is on trial in Rockingham County Circuit Court for shooting another man last year.

But this case is unusual because so many people are coming out in support of the accused Rudy Dean because they say he acted in self-defense.

Attorneys on both sides say it is a simple case of road rage spiraling out of control - that led to a man getting shot in the neck in January of last year.

But a jury must make the tough choice of when it's legal to fire a handgun.

Rudolph Dean Jr., 47, faces aggravated wounding and firearms charges.

The alleged victim is Robert Crawford of Elkton. But the defense claims Crawford was the aggressor who approached and struck Dean with a metal baton, when Dean pulled up to his home. Dean grabbed a handgun and fired a single shot.

His supporters say this case has a broader impact on the Second Amendment.

"If we - in that situation - are not able to use our weapons to defend ourselves, then there is never a case that the Commonwealth of Virginia is going to honor our right to defend ourselves," said Cindy Carr, a supporter of Dean.

Dean is expected to testify in his own defense later this week. The "Free Rudy Dean" campaign has succeeded in helping get him free on bond and find an attorney willing to take the case to a jury.

In their opening arguments Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors said the self-defense claim will be called into doubt by Dean's own aggressive behavior, and telling several different accounts about what led up to shooting.

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