ARIZONA NEWS

Defendant sentenced to 25 years in prison for deadly road rage incident in Mesa

Mar 26, 2024, 10:30 AM

Mugshot of Frank Martin Lawrence III, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a deadly road rag...

Frank Martin Lawrence III was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a deadly road rage incident in Mesa in 2020. (Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry Photo)

(Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry Photo)

PHOENIX – A defendant was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a deadly road rage incident in Mesa four years ago, authorities announced Tuesday.

Frank Martin Lawrence III, 35, was sentenced in late February after pleading guilty to one count each of second-degree murder and aggravated assault in August 2023, according to court records.

The deadly road rage incident started when Carolyn Bui was driving home with her boyfriend, James Ackerman Jr., on Jan. 11, 2020.

After Bui honked at Lawrence for veering into her lane, the defendant followed her to an apartment complex near Alma School Road and Eighth Avenue.

How did Mesa road rage incident turn deadly?

Lawrence did donuts in the parking lot before getting out of his vehicle and punching Bui in the face, prosecutors said. He then got back in his vehicle and ran down Ackerman Jr., who was trying to record the attacker’s license plate.

Ackerman, 22, died after being taken to a hospital, authorities said.

Lawrence fled the scene, but investigators eventually identified him as the driver. He was in custody for an unrelated assault case when police arrested him for the deadly road rage incident in October 2020.

“This defendant’s out-of-control behavior cost the life of an innocent victim,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press released Tuesday. “Road rage is a criminal offense that happens all too often in our state.”

Arizona was ranked as the worst state in the U.S. for confrontational drivers by Forbes Advisor in 2023.

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Defendant sentenced to 25 years in prison for deadly road rage incident in Mesa