Monday, March 05, 2007

UNC 'Hit-And-Run' Suspect Ordered to Dorothea Dix for Evaluation ::

A man accused of driving a sport utility vehicle through a crowd of UNC students will be placed at Dorothea Dix Hospital after he made disparaging remarks in court Monday.

During the hearing, Mohammed Taheri-azar yelled that he "hates all Americans" and "hates all Jews." Taheri-azar then looked at Superior Court Judge Ken Titus and asked him what his name was and then asked him to spell it. Taheri-azar then looked at his attorney and said, "I don't know him."

Taheri-azar also called his attorney "a moron" and said "hasta luego," before he was removed from the courtroom.

Titus ordered that Taheri-azar be sent to the hospital to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. That evaluation could take anywhere from 28 to 60 days.

"I think that the behavior you witnessed was the behavior of a severely disturbed and mentally ill person," said James Williams, Taheri-Azar's attorney.

Taheri-Azar was seen making obscene gestures and yelling profanities before he entered the courthouse. He was supposed to appear in court to discuss letters he wrote to Judge Carl Fox within the past two weeks while in prison. The content of those letters is not known, but the judge ordered them to be sealed.

Authorities said Taheri-azar admitted to driving his vehicle into nine people on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus on March 3, 2006. No one was seriously injured. Taheri-azar said he did it to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.

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