Dudley family reacts to Prosecutor's decision

Family responds to ruling

KENT COUNTY, MICH. - No charges will be filed against a man that shot two brothers, killing one in a road rage incident near Sparta in May. 43-year-old Robert Chipman Jr. shot two brothers, killing one, Donald Dudley and paralyzing the other, Ben Dudley. 

The Kent County prosecutor says they could not prove that Chipman did not act in self defense beyond a reasonable doubt, but relatives of those young men don't find this decision justified.

"We really were hoping for justice and praying the system would do what was right and obviously that didn't happen today," Don and Ben's aunt, Bernadette Utter, said.  "Just because you have right to carry does not mean you have the right to kill." 

Ben and Donny were in a car late May when they encountered a man in a truck. The two cars spent a few miles flashing lights, speeding up and slowing down. The situation eventually escalated when the cars pulled over and the two brothers confronted Chipman.

There was a physical altercation and Chipman shot at the brothers, both were hit. Friends say Ben is now paralyzed, Donny died on scene.

"Their siblings are hurting so bad," Utter said as she fought back the tears, over the phone.

"To be taken so terribly its something they'll never get over. This family is hurting all of them they're hurting, especially Benjamin." 

The Dudley family is trying to understand how the man that pulled trigger can walk free.

"He should have just kept – both should have just kept going but he was armed," Brian Utter,  Ben and Don's uncle said.  "He should have kept going, he knew that he had a deadly weapon." 

As the family tries to move forward from this incident, they have a message for Chipman.

"He's a parent, he's an adult male I'm an adult male with kids," Brian Utter said.  "You have a certain responsibility to act a certain way. That behavior there, is not being a parent. I would not want to explain this to my kid."

The family wanted to add they are supporters of the second amendment, the right to bear arms,  but feel in this situation it was misused.

WZZM 13 did ask them if they would be taking any legal action and they say as a family they have not discussed that yet. 

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