DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Uber driver who shot and killed a passenger on Interstate 25 near University Boulevard in Denver last summer has been found not guilty of first degree murder. Michael Hancock, who is of no relation to Denver’s mayor, claims he shot the victim after he was punched in the face.
Denver Police said Hancock fired ten rounds from outside the vehicle while Hyun Kim was in the passenger seat. Hancock said the shooting was in self-defense. He claims Kim, who had a blood alcohol level of .308, hit him in the face during the ride.
In the defense’s closing arguments, attorneys focused on self-defense. They argued it was Hancock’s right as a Colorado citizen to defend himself if he was reasonably scared for his own life. Defense attorneys also highlighted a 2017 complaint by an Uber driver regarding Kim’s behavior. Attorneys said the complaint read that Kim got aggressive because the driver didn’t follow his specific directions.
In closing arguments, prosecutors argued Hancock killed Kim with “intent and deliberation,” rather than being scared for his life and acting in self-defense. They also accused him of altering the crime scene instead of giving Kim aid while first responders rushed to the scene.
Jurors began deliberations on Wednesday morning and returned their verdict Thursday morning.