The man who was allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs when he struck and killed a Paramus NJ valedictorian has finally been declared competent to stand trial.
The 51-year-old suspect, who lives in Dover New Jersey, showed up for a hearing in a Pennsylvania court. The hearing was to determine whether the suspect would be deemed fit to stand trial on vehicular homicides charges.
Prosecutors plan to argue at trial that the suspect was under the influence of a painkiller when he drove a pickup truck on a Pennsylvania road and hit the 20-year-old victim. According to authorities, the suspect swerved his truck and fatally struck the victim while she jogged on the side of the road.
The victim was a 2010 Paramus High School valedictorian and incoming junior at Washington University in St. Louis.
The trial has been delayed for quite some time while the suspect received treatment for bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. According to defense attorneys, the suspect told his doctors that he did not believe he had been involved in the fatal accident. Moreover, the suspect reportedly said that the criminal charges against him were part of a conspiracy. The suspect is said to have a long history of mental illness.
Now a trial date has been scheduled after the suspect received treatment for his mental illnesses and was declared fit to face the charges against him. According to prosecutors, the suspect responded to the treatment and will be okay for trial as long as he remains medicated.
During the recent court hearing, the suspect was reportedly shaking. He is currently taking 10 milligrams of Haldol and 1 milligram of Klonopin to deal with his anxiety and insomnia.
The trial is set to begin in July in a PA court. The suspect faces very serious criminal charges for vehicular homicide and driving under the influence (DUI).
For further information about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “Accused Killer of Paramus Valedictorian Declared Fit for Trial, Report Says.”