North Texas

Jury Finds Arlington Road Rage Shooter Guilty of Murder

A Tarrant County jury has found a 22-year-old man guilty of murder in a 2016 road rage shooting. The judge sentenced him to 50 years in prison.

On Thursday afternoon, Aspen Warren was convicted of killing Brittany Daniel, shooting her through her car door, on Interstate 30 in Arlington in January of last year.

Warren admitted to pulling the trigger, but he said he never really meant to hurt her.

"I just wanted to scare her, right,” Warren said in the taped confession. “You can't road rage somebody and expect somebody not to road rage you back."

Daniel was just 26 years old. A large group of her family was in the courtroom for the trial.

"Yes because everybody loved Brittany,” her father Malcolm Daniel said. “She was so sweet. Her smile was so special."

They hugged, cried and thanked God when the guilty verdict was announced. But Mr. Daniel also shared how deeply this tragedy has shaken his tight-knit family.

"I've always been a believer that people should care for one another," Mr. Daniel said. "What I saw from him, there wasn't any caring."

"Love, work and rage, that's what this case boils down to," Tarrant County Prosecutor Albert Roberts said in his closing arguments.

Brittany Daniel was a loved young woman, taken at age 26 while driving a co-worker home from work, just like millions of commuters every day.

"And you trusted the person driving next to you not to take your life for something foolish," Roberts said.

In a flash of rage and gunpowder, Brittany Daniel's life was over, and Aspen Warren's changed forever.

The defense tried to paint Warren as the fall guy, claiming the confession was coerced and that the angle of the shots had to have come from the back seat, where other friends were sitting and yelling over at Daniel's car. Warren was up front driving.

"That bullet hole shows you why my client is not guilty," Defense Attorney Warren St. John said, holding up a photo of Daniel's car door for the jury to see.

But the jury didn't buy it and the final consequences of a moment of anger are finally sinking in.

"Father's Day, Mother's Day, we've missed Brittany so much and now, knowing that the person who did this will pay, makes it a little bit better," said Mr. Daniel.

Now he's pushing for road rage shootings to become a capital offense, hoping harsher punishments will prevent the next tragedy.

"Everybody needs to just calm down and realize those are people,” Mr. Daniel said. “That's a person driving that other car. It's not that bad where we have to be that angry that this person had to be killed."

Warren's mother testified at the end of the day Wednesday, saying he told her he didn't do it. That was the only witness the defense called. She and other family members cried after he was convicted and sentenced.

Defense attorneys already plan to appeal his conviction.

Recent Road Rage Incidents in North Texas

There have been several recent incidents of road rage in North Texas.

A 33-year-old man was shot in North Richland Hills late Tuesday night. He stopped his car outside of a Waffle House and called for help. Now he's being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

That was the third road rage shooting in North Texas in three days. Two of those victims survived, the other, 19-year-old Dylan Spaid, did not.

No one has been arrested in any of the shootings.

NBC 5's Holley Ford contributed to this report.

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