Case closed in March road rage murder-suicide — (Mountain Democrat)

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Mountain Democrat

By Brodka Beiriger

August 24, 2010

PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA  The investigation into a March road rage shooting has been closed and the motive behind the attack that killed a Grizzly Flat man remains unclear, authorities said.

Jack Larson, 49, was shot in his SUV on March 2 by Jenson Cornelius Kohutek, 36.

Kohutek had been reportedly tailgating Larson and girlfriend Jean Williams, in his truck for several miles before pulling up to Larson’s passenger side window and opening fire near Newtown Road and Broadway.

Kohutek then turned the gun on himself.

I was scared, said Williams. The man in the truck said to me, Did I get him? and I said, Yes, you did, and I looked at him and he put the gun to his chin and pulled the trigger.

Kohutek died at the scene.

Larson was taken to Marshall Medical Center and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Larson did not know his shooter, Williams said.

Kohutek’s autopsy did not reveal any glaring finds, said El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz.

Traces of caffeine and nicotine were found in Kohutek. Coroners also found bupropion, an anti-depressant and smoking cessation aid, as well as citalopram, another anti-depressant.

Golmitz said the level of citalopram was slightly above the recommended therapeutic dosage, but not high enough to provide a reason for Kohutek’s actions.

Authorities had also been interviewing friends and family members in an attempt to determine why Kohutek was driven to kill, but those investigations proved fruitless.

Unfortunately, the investigation did not reveal any motive for Kohutek’s actions, said Sheriff’ s Sgt. Jim Byers. All those interviewed by detectives with close ties to Kohutek were shocked at what happened and all indicated that Kohute’s behavior that day was totally out of character with the person they knew.

Golmitz called the incident a horrible circumstance and said only Kohutek knows the reasons for the March shooting.

This is truly a horrible circumstance that came out of a road rage case, he said.  The outcome was horrible. We’re not going to know a motive, unfortunately. Both parties are deceased.

In an interview with the Mountain Democrat, Williams said she and her dying lover were aided by retired sheriff’s deputy Bill Leard.

I was crying so hard I couldn’t talk, she said.  That’s when I knew God was with me because a man in a silver truck came along and I flagged him down. He turned out to be a retired sheriff’s deputy and he took my phone and started handling everything. His wife was in the truck and she came and comforted me. They were wonderful.

At the time of his death, Larson was a tree trimmer for Davey Tree Surgery.

E-mail Jim Ratajczak at or call  530-344-5071 .