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Man charged with murder after running over couple

On July 2, a 36-year-old Minnesota man was charged with two counts of murder after allegedly running over two pedestrians in Eagan in June. The decedents, a married couple, were aged 58 and 74.

According to media accounts, officers from the Eagan Police Department responded to a report of a medical emergency just before 10 p.m. on June 28. Once on the scene, the officers found a man and a woman who were having difficulty breathing. Both individuals were taken to Regions Hospital for emergency care, but they later died as the result of blunt force trauma. Witnesses told authorities that the decedents were run over by a silver van. Officers soon found a Dodge Caravan matching the description. It had a cracked windshield and front-end damage. The woman's cellphone was found under one of the windshield wipers.

Officers tracked the defendant to a nearby hotel and placed him under arrest. He allegedly confessed that the couple "freaked him out", so he struck them with his vehicle. Authorities said he did not know either of the decedents. A Dakota County District Court judge set his bail at $2 million. The defendant has three previous felony convictions, including an assault on a psychiatrist in 2016. In that case, a psychologist determined that he was not mentally competent to proceed with a trial, and he was civilly committed.

Like all defendants, individuals charged with murder must be mentally competent to stand trial. If a defense attorney suspects a defendant is not mentally competent, he or she could file a motion for a psychiatric evaluation. If the trial proceeds, an attorney could also use an insanity defense to fight the charges.

Source: Eagan Patch, "Man Intentionally Drove Over Married Eagan Couple: Murder Charges", William Bornhoft, July 2, 2018

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