Evan Potts, 24, of Oceanside, was acquitted Monday by a jury in Nassau County of the more serious charge of manslaughter.
Prosecutors say Potts ran down Ian Sharinn, of Long Beach, on May 15, 2009, after the two got into an argument on the street.
Potts claimed he accidentally cut off Sharinn at an intersection and following a two-mile verbal argument — shouting at one another as they drove side by side — Sharinn exited his yellow Porsche twice and confronted him.
Potts said Sharinn hit and kicked his rented Nissan Altima and boxed him in, and he panicked. Potts called 9-1-1 as Sharinn grabbed the Altima door frame. Potts accelerated and Sharinn fell beneath the tires and was crushed, witnesses had said.
Potts’ attorney said his client was trying to defend himself against Sharinn when he accelerated forward and struck him. He also claimed the victim had an issue controlling his rage and that the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Sharinn was pursuing the smaller Potts like a predator.
Prosecutors argued that what Potts did was inexcusable, no matter his fear.
He faces up to 4 years in prison. Potts will be sentenced Aug. 16.