MONROE - A Monroe County Circuit Court jury yesterday convicted Charles Fackelman for pulling a loaded gun on the man he held responsible for causing the road-rage accident that killed Fackelman's 17-year-old son.
The jury rejected Fackelman's defense that he was legally insane on March 24 when he pointed the handgun at Randy Krell outside his Lambertville home and pursued him to a neighbor's home where Krell sought refuge.
The panel of nine women and three men returned verdicts of guilty but mentally ill on two counts of felonious assault and one count each of home invasion and possession of a firearm.
The courtroom remained silent as the decisions were announced. Fackelman, 47, of Toledo, appeared calm and didn't react to the verdicts.
The couple's oldest son, Charlie Fackelman, was killed in a car chase on June 15, 2006, that began after another teenager who was in the vehicle threw a plastic water bottle at Krell's car.
Krell, 52, pursued the speeding car driven by Austin Oberle, who lost control and crashed into a tree in Whiteford Township, killing Charlie and causing Stevie Beale, now 18, to be paralyzed from the waist down.
A Monroe County jury found Krell guilty in June of negligent homicide. He is serving a nine-month sentence in the jail.
Judge Costello ordered that Fackelman and Krell be kept separated in the lockup.
Krell testified that a gun-wielding Fackelman showed up at his home and ordered him into the backyard. Instead, Krell went to a nearby home, locked the door, and told the neighbor, Thomas Williams, to call 911.
Fackelman kicked down the steel door from its frame, pointed the handgun at Mr. Williams, and knocked the telephone out of his hand.
Krell escaped through a rear door, and Fackelman left the home after removing the cartridge from his gun and assuring Mr. Williams that he would pay for the damage to the door.
Fackelman faces a mandatory prison sentence of two years on the gun conviction and likely will face additional time for the other offenses.
The sentence will be served in the state prison system, but he will receive treatment and rehabilitation for the mental illness.
Mr. Williams and his wife, Trish Williams, who was not at home at the time of the attack, were present in the courtroom for the verdicts.
Mrs. Williams said she believed Fackelman was mentally ill when he attacked Krell and confronted her husband.
"He needs to get some help. Hopefully, he can be helped," she said. "[Fackelman] did know what he was doing when he did this."
According to testimony, Fackelman threatened to kill himself after he left the Williams home and before he was found by Stevie Beale's father, Al Beale, about five hours later at a gas station in Bowling Green.
Mr. Beale drove Fackelman to Flower Hospital.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-241-3610.