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Man charged in shooting after I-94 traffic accident found guilty of murder

Anthony Trifiletti shot and killed a man after getting into a minor crash on I-94 in St. Paul in May 2020.
Credit: Ramsey County Jail
Anthony Trifiletti is charged with second degree murder after police say he fatally shot another motorist after a minor traffic accident.

RAMSEY COUNTY, Minn. — The Watertown man charged with murder after a fatal traffic accident shooting in St. Paul last year was found guilty by a Ramsey County jury.

Anthony Trifiletti was found guilty of second-degree murder for killing Douglas Lewis on May 1, 2020 on Highway 61 near Burns Avenue. Trifiletti was 24 at the time of the shooting.

On March 8, a Ramsey County jury was unable to reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial. Trifiletti's guilty verdict comes after another trial. Sentencing is scheduled for June 2, 2021.

He remains in custody with bail conditions unchanged.

In a written statement, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said, "While we are grateful that justice has been delivered in this matter, our hearts go to the family and friends of Douglas Lewis whose life was unjustifiably taken by the defendant. I want to thank my staff and the Saint Paul Police Department for their hard work on this case."

Prosecutors originally said Trifiletti shot Lewis four times after their vehicles made contact on I-94 around 9:30 p.m. May 1, 2020. A criminal complaint explained that officers were dispatched to the 1300 block of Burns Avenue after getting reports of a shooting, and when they arrived they found good Samaritans performing CPR on a man who had been shot several times.

Lewis died during surgery.

RELATED: Man charged in fatal shooting that followed fender bender

At the scene of the shooting, Trifiletti reportedly told officers his pistol was in the glove box of his pickup. He said the victim bumped his truck so he pulled off on the shoulder to exchange insurance information, but the other man kept driving. Police said Trifiletti told them the two vehicles eventually pulled over, that words were exchanged, and that the man claimed to be in a gang.

Trifiletti claimed the man advanced on him and put his hand under his shirt, so fearing for his life he grabbed his 9mm pistol and fired three or four times.

When asked if he could have just driven away or stayed in his truck, Trifiletti reportedly said he couldn't since another vehicle was parked behind him, and he also feared the other man was going to shoot him.

A witness told police she and her boyfriend were driving by the scene when she saw two men - Trifiletti and the victim - arguing by the side of the road. She reportedly told police that Trifiletti ran to his truck as the other man ran to his, grabbed a gun and opened fire.

She helped perform first aid at the scene, and told police she saw no handgun in his waistband or in the immediate area

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