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An Atlanta attorney has been charged by a grand jury with murder after he allegedly drove into a man who he believed had thrown a golf ball at his Mercedes-Benz, authorities said.
Bryan K. Schmitt, 48, was indicted Friday on allegations of murder, felony murder and aggravated assault after his vehicle struck Hamid Jahangard, 60, described as a "prominent" real estate investor originally from Iran, the Fulton County District Attorney's office said in a statement.
Schmitt stopped his Mercedes a few miles down the road from his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on July 30 to confront Jahangard outside a rental property owned by the victim, the district attorney's office said.
"Mr. Schmitt’s vehicle struck Mr. Jahangard causing him to fall and strike his head," Sandy Springs police said in a statement. "Mr. Schmitt remained at the scene and spoke with officers."
He died two days later of blunt-force trauma to the head, the DA's office said.
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"The fatal encounter stemmed from Jahangard accidentally striking Schmitt’s Mercedes vehicle with a golf ball," the office said.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, citing court documents, reported that the suspect told authorities he was driving by the rental property when he saw Jahangard lean over a county trash can and make a throwing motion before something hit his sedan.
A Sandy Springs police report lists a golf ball as possible evidence.
Schmitt told authorities he made a U-turn to confront the victim, who threw the trash can in the path of his Mercedes, causing him to swerve and accidentally strike Jahangard, according to the Journal Constitution.
But after reviewing security video and car video from a motorist who was behind the suspect, investigators concluded it was a case of murderous road rage, the newspaper reported.
In the course of the investigation, the paper reported, police found the victim's phone under the windshield wiper of Schmitt's vehicle. It rang when they tried to locate it, leading officers to the device.
Schmitt was arrested Aug. 12 and remains in jail, according to records.
He is listed by the State Bar of Georgia as corporate counsel first admitted in 2015.