Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester man who claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed another motorist after a minor traffic crash last month has entered a not guilty plea. 25-year-old Alexander Weiss appeared before Judge Joseph Chase this morning in Olmsted County Court, and after a brief evidentiary hearing, entered the plea to a single count of second-degree murder. The judge then tentatively scheduled his trial to begin the week of July 9th.

Muhammed Rahim memorial- Kim David, Townsquare Media
Muhammed Rahim memorial- Kim David, Townsquare Media

Weiss was freed on $75,000 bond following his first court appearance two days after the deadly shooting the morning of January 14th at the intersection of East River Road and 31st Street Northeast. Witnesses reported Weiss and 17-year-old Muhammed Rahim got involved in a confrontation after the teenager’s car slid off the road and then collided with Weiss’ vehicle after he stopped to see if his help was needed. Police say an escalating verbal exchange ended when Weiss shot Rahim in the chest, resulting in a fatal wound.

Weiss, who had a permit to carry a gun, was at the scene when police arrived and gave a statement indicating he acted in self-defense. The first officer at the scene was alerted by a woman who had witnessed the shooting from inside her car as she was driving on the road where the incident occurred. Police officials say she provided investigators with what they described as a “helpful statement” the day before the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office charged Weiss in the case.

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