CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - An arraignment was held for the suspect last weeks fatal road rage shooting but Richard Manning, 62, was a no-show.
Manning didn't appear in court because he's in the hospital in critical condition as a result of multiple medical problems.
His defense attorney, Lloyd Levitt argued to the court as to why Manning should be allowed visitation inside the hospital from his family and a bond reduction.
After more than hour of testimony from witnesses, Manning's family members and a Chattanooga police officer, Judge Sell ordered that Manning's family be allowed to visitation in the hospital but she didn't reduce Manning's $350,000 bond amount.
The court heard from Rachel Ryan who was an eyewitness when Manning reportedly shot and killed Norman Gallman, 39. Ryan told the court what she saw when Gallman got out of his SUV and walked toward Richard Manning's car while Manning sat in the drivers seat.
"I was looking at him. I heard a gun shot. I saw the victim turn and grabbed his abdomen and stumbled back to his car," Ryan said.
According to Gallman's fiance, Anna Caro, who was a passenger and key witness in the case, the incident started when Gallman's SUV got cut off by Manning's vehicle then Gallman got back in front of Manning and immediately put on his brakes at a red light on the 300 block of S. Moore Rd.
"He got out and went to look at the car and then told the guy to be careful and to watch where he's going. that's all he said. There was no anger in his tone," Caro said.
But defense attorney Lloyd Levitt has already poked holes in that statement. Caro told the court her passenger window was up and that Manning was speaking in a calm low voice at a busy intersection next to a loud interstate highway.
"It's a little difficult to fathom how she would have heard any conversation with her windows up," Levitt said.
Levitt said he spoke to his client before Manning was transferred to the hospital from the county jail.
From his indications, Mr. Gallman was not talking to him in a calm voice and so there is an issue about whether he acted in self defense. Our statute as far as self defense goes says that if you feel threatened to the point of serious injury or death that you have a right to respond with even deadly force," Levitt said.
Manning's pastor recently visited with him at the hospital. He says Manning's deteriorated health issues have put him in critical condition and he fears the worst.
"After I anointed him for healing, I said Richard I love you and he opened his eyes for just brief second but other than that he can not talk. He's intubated."
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for January 28th.