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Atlanta lawyer killed victim with Mercedes after car was struck with golf ball, prosecutors say

August 25, 2019 - 5:25 pm
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(ATLANTA) -- An Atlanta attorney has been charged with murder after he fatally rammed his Mercedes sedan into a real estate investor, according to authorities.

The encounter began after 60-year-old Hamid Jahangard "accidentally" hit the 2011 Mercedes CLS550 belonging to corporate lawyer Bryan Schmitt with a golf ball on July 30, according to a news release from the Fulton County District Attorney.

Schmitt then "purposely steered" the luxury car into Jahangard in the driveway of one of his rental properties on River Valley Road in Sandy Springs, prosecutors said.

Initially, Schmitt told detectives that he was driving home on River Valley Road that afternoon when he saw a man on the side of the road next to a trash can making "a throwing motion with his arm" before he "saw a white object" strike his car, ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV reported, citing the criminal complaint, which contains the statement Schmitt gave to authorities before he was arrested.

Schmitt said he then made a U-turn and pulled into the driveway of the home to confront Jahangard, according to the station. Schmitt allegedly said that when he asked Jahangard why he threw the object, the victim yelled, "It's none of your business!" and "pushed a trash can" at him.

"I swerved to right to miss it and ended up hitting a second trash can," Schmitt told detectives, according to the station. "When I came to stop, he was lying on the other side of the first trash."

However, surveillance footage and witness statements contradicted Schmitt's account, the criminal complaint states. One neighbor, a nurse, allegedly witnessed Schmitt attempting to pull Jahangard's body from underneath his car and told him to stop and wait for paramedics to arrive, stating that Schmitt "ran him over" rather than knocked him down, according to WSB-TV.

In addition, Jahangard was talking to his brother, Manoucher Jahangard, on the phone when he was struck, according to court documents obtained by the station.

Manoucher Jahangard also told investigators that he last heard his brother say, "I did not throw anything! I did not throw anything! Get out of my face," before the call was cut off. Jahangard was waiting for painters to arrive at the time, his brother said.

Police found a golf ball on the scene but did not see any damage to the car, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Jahangard suffered a massive skull fracture, swelling in his brain and multiple leg fractures, WSB-TV reported. He died in the hospital two days later, prosecutors said.

The medical examiner ruled Jahangard's death a homicide by "blunt force injury of the head," according to the station.

Jahangard, who was originally from Iran, was a "prominent real estate investor" and a graduate of Walton High School in Cobb County and Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, according to prosecutors.

He is survived by his two daughters and four siblings, according to an obituary.

Schmitt is an associate corporate counsel and director of contracts for Atlanta-based supply chain and software company Manhattan Associates, according to Law.com.

He was charged with murder, felony murder and aggravated assault, prosecutors announced Friday. He is currently being held at the Fulton County jail without bond, jail records show.

ABC News could not immediately reach representatives for Schmitt or Manhattan Associates for comment.

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