UPDATE: Somerset man pleads not guilty to murder charge in alleged road rage case

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UPDATE (7/27/2019):

SOMERSET,Ky. (WTVQ) – Thomas Burton, of Somerset has pleads not guilty to murder in an alleged road rage murder of 73-year-old Ervin Phillips.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – Road rage has left one man dead and another man behind bars, according to police.



The Somerset Police Department says it answered a call on June 10 at 12:44 p.m. about a fight at a traffic light on US27.

An officer arrived at the scene and says he found 73-year-old Ervin Phillips sitting in the roadway being attended to by an off-duty paramedic.

The officer reported Phillips had an obvious head injury and was disoriented.

Phillips’ wife told the officer her husband got into a fight with a man who was tailgating their vehicle.

Police say the driver was 63-year-old Thomas Burton, of Somerset.

Phillips’ wife, along with other witnesses, say Burton accused Phillips of pulling out in front of him then hitting his brakes repeatedly as the two drove south on US27.

Phillips’ wife says Burton was tailgating their vehicle and her husband hit his brakes several times to attempt to get Burton to stop tailgating them.

The two drivers stopped at a red light, where they both got out of their cars. Witnesses say Phillips had a cane in his hand and Burton had some type of long object.

They say Burton struck Phillips more than once with the object and, when Phillips fell, Burton returned to his vehicle and took off.

Phillips was taken to the hospital and police caught up to Burton.

Police say Burton told them Phillips poked him with his cane and he struck Phillips in self-defense.

Phillips remained hospitalized at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, where police say he never fully regained consciousness and passed away from his injuries on June 28.

The case was presented to the Pulaski County Grand Jury, who indicted Burton for murder.

Burton was arrested and booked into the Pulaski County Detention Center.