Between Oprah and US Marshalls it's just not worth trying to hide out in Belize anymore. Here's another one that got busted in March:
Road rage shooter convicted
BY ERIC BAKER
Boomerang Staff Writer
Norbert Robert Schultz, 56, a driver who became enraged with another driver on Interstate 80, was convicted of aggravated assault and unlawful use of a firearm after a three-day jury trial in the Albany County District Court on Wednesday.
The conviction stemmed from an incident on Nov. 1, 2002, where Schultz fired a handgun several times at a passing Ford F-350 pickup driven by Brandon and Zoey Peterson of Utah. Evidence presented at the trial showed that four of the shots fired by Schultz hit the Peterson’s passenger side door and at least two of the bullets were recovered after they had entered the cab. Neither Peterson nor his wife, Zoey, was hit by the bullets. The recently married couple was on a weekend trip to Cabela’s in Nebraska.
The case was initially charged in Laramie County in 2002, as the incident occurred near the Albany/Laramie County lines. According to testimony provided by Lt. Klief Guenther of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, the jurisdictional confusion occurred because it was a moving crime scene and emergency responders were not able to reach the victims until they had traveled into Laramie County.
The Laramie County District Attorney determined two weeks before the trial was initially set to begin in 2003 that the shooting actually occurred in Albany County. The charges were dismissed in Laramie County and the investigative reports were forwarded to Albany County. After receiving the material from Laramie County, Albany County Attorney Richard Bohling immediately filed charges and Schultz was given a court date to make his initial appearance in Albany County. The period of time that elapsed between when the case was dismissed in Laramie County and refiled in Albany County gave Schultz a window of opportunity to run, and he took it.
When Schultz failed to appear for his preliminary hearing in Albany County on August 13, 2003, a warrant was issued for his arrest, and the case had to be put on hold until Schultz reappeared. Schultz’s whereabouts were unknown until he applied for citizenship in March 2005 in Belize.
The Belize government contacted the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Marshall’s Service sent a fugitive task force to extradite Schultz back to Wyoming to face his pending criminal charges. Two years after Schultz fled to Belize, the case was ready for trial.
911 dispatchers first received a call about a shooting from Brandon Peterson when he was near mile marker 339, which is in Laramie County. Time and distance calculations later determined that the shooting took place just before the Laramie County border, as both vehicles were traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed.
The Petersons were traveling in the left lane when the defendant drove up behind them with his brights lit on his white Mitsubishi. Schultz then moved to the right lane, and things got testy.
“There was some position jockeying, braking and swerving by both cars,” said Guenther in court documents. “There were improper driving patterns by both vehicles.”
After Peterson passed a truck, momentarily blocking Schultz, the defendant pulled up next to the Peterson’s pickup and fired several times at the passenger side. The Petersons then sped up to get away and called 911.
“If the passenger had been seated, she might have been struck in the leg by one of the shots,” said Guenther. Apparently Zoey Peterson curled up in a fetal position and moved toward the driver’s legs.
Guenther stopped traffic farther down the road to question passengers in white cars, but didn’t find a suspect because the description the victims offered was so vague. Later investigation, including a press release sent to the company of the truck driver Schultz and the Petersons passed, yielded better results.
The truck driver identified Schultz later on videotape as the vehicle adjacent to his when Guenther stopped traffic on Nov. 1, 2002. License plate information provided an address for a search warrant and later arrest.
A gun was found on Schultz’s property, and ballistics tests matched the bullets taken from the car to the gun.
One of the challenging aspects of the case was finding witnesses from three years ago who were on the interstate at the time of the incident, said Bohling.
After deliberating only 2˝ hours, the jury rejected Schultz’s argument that it was a case of self-defense and delivered a verdict of guilty on all charges. Schultz’s attorney, Ronald Pretty, from Cheyenne, argued that Schultz fired at the Peterson’s vehicle attempting to defend himself and his wife, who were traveling in a car and told the jury they were feeling threatened by the larger Ford pickup driven by the Petersons.
At sentencing, Schultz faces a possible maximum penalty of 10 years on each of the two aggravated assault charges and five years for possession of a firearm with unlawful intent. If the sentences are ordered to be served consecutively, Schultz could face up to 25 years in prison.
Schultz, who was a United States Postal worker and residing in Lander at the time of the incident, did not testify on his own behalf during the trial and showed little emotion when the verdict was read.