A Baltimore woman who was driving and pointed a gun out her car window at another vehicle in a road rage incident was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison with all but six months suspended, according to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Michelle Hutson, 29, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in Howard County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
As part of her plea agreement, Hutson was placed on two years of supervised prohibition, and required to undergo mental health treatment, pay court fines and have no contact with the victim. Hutson will not be allowed to legally possess any regulated firearms.
On May 25 at about 8:30 p.m., Hutson was traveling on Interstate 95 near Montgomery Road in Howard County when a Maryland state trooper was dispatched to the area “for a report of road rage incident involving a handgun,” according to the state’s attorney’s office.
The unidentified female victim told the state trooper that after changing lanes on I-95, Hutson turned on her high beams and “began to tailgate” the victim.
After the victim increased her speed, Hutson “followed closely behind,” which made the victim weave in and out of traffic, attempting to lose Hutson’s vehicle.
“The victim changed lanes again and tried to drive away from Hutson, but as the victim passed Hutson’s vehicle she saw Hutson pointing a gun out the window at her,” according to prosecutors.
The victim took two photos of the incident with her cellphone, identifying Hutson.
Law enforcement officers went to Hutson’s home on May 26 and retrieved the handgun, which was discovered to belong to Hutson’s boyfriend, Jason Flythe.
Flythe, who lawfully possessed the 9mm handgun through his job as an armed security guard, was in the passenger’s seat in Hutson’s vehicle during the incident, police said.
Hutson told police she knew the gun was unloaded at the time because “a bullet did not discharge when she pulled the trigger while pointing the gun at the roof of her own vehicle.”
She also told police she knew her actions were wrong.
“We are grateful Ms. Hutson’s reckless and dangerous actions didn’t result in a more catastrophic outcome,” Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson said in a statement.
Latest Howard County
“For Ms. Hutson to deliberately point a potentially, deadly weapon in the direction of our victim takes this incident to a new level. No one should have a gun, loaded or unloaded, pointed at them and be in fear of their life while driving on the highway.”