Philly man blames late firefighter father in deadly beating

Gerard Shaffer, Sr. and Gerard Shaffer, Jr.

January 8, 2013 3:20:04 PM PST
The attorney for a Philadelphia man says his client's late father is to blame for a pedestrian's April 2010 death.

Opening statements began Tuesday in the murder trial of 23-year-old Gerard Shaffer Jr.

Fifty-four-year-old Mark Wallace died after what began as a verbal altercation while he crossed the street in front of an SUV driven by the defendant's father, Gerard Shaffer Sr.

Police said both Shaffers got out, the father shoving Wallace and the son throwing Wallace to the ground, causing fatal head trauma.

Shaffer's father was charged but died of a heart attack in 2011.

Defense attorney Coley Reynolds said his client was trying to stop the fight.

Assistant District Attorney Peter Lim said the defendant "wanted to be a tough guy" like his father, a former firefighter.