Lake Wales man guilty of attempted second-degree murder after shooting at truck

SENTENCING UPDATE: Lake Wales man sentenced to 30 years for attempted second-degree murder

John Decesare was facing a minimum of 20 years in prison after being convicted in July of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm from a vehicle.

John Decesare, 74, of Lake Wales.

A judge imposed a sentence of 30 years on Decesare in his sentencing hearing Friday morning.

On Nov. 4, 2014, Decesare fired three rounds into a vehicle, attempting to kill the driver. The victim, Robert Daniel, was not injured in the shooting.

When law enforcement arrived on scene, Daniel told them he’d never seen the black corvette before. But he did tell them it wasn’t uncommon for him to have incidents with a motorcycle rider in the early mornings when he drove to work.

The man, who rode a black motorcycle with three headlights, would ride alongside his work truck, pull in front of him and slow down. He never spoke to the rider or antagonized him in any way, but he continued encountering the man on his way to work.

FDLE testing proved that the bullet holes and projectiles from Daniel’s truck matched the firearm deputies found in Decesare’s motorcycle.

When questioned, Decesare admitted he was involved in the shooting. He told deputies he was driving his corvette, and the other driver was in a truck.

Decesare told deputies in a taped statement that he felt the truck driver was tormenting him each time they crossed paths while he was on his bike.

“I got sick of it,” Decesare said in the statement. “I thought I’d just scare him off, put a couple bullets in his fender, teach him a lesson. … I didn’t shoot to kill him.”

“Why fire at least three rounds if you’re just trying to scare someone?” Daugustinis asked jurors in the July trial. “It’s just not reasonable to believe. He was intentionally shooting at driver side door knowing there was a driver on the other side of that door. … The defendant’s actions and intent that day showed ill will, hatred, spite and evil intent.”

Jurors found Decesare guilty July 12 after only 25 minutes of deliberation.