Local News

UNC Hit-And-Run Suspect's Court Appearance Continued

Posted December 12, 2006 9:43 a.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2006 12:29 a.m. EST

— The court date for a man accused of driving a sport utility vehicle into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was continued Tuesday untill Jan. 2.

Mohammed Taheri-Azar had been expected to enter a plea in connection with the March 3 incident, in which nine people were injured.

It was not clear why the court date had been continued, because the decision was made behind closed-doors.

In March, Taheri-Azar confessed to authorities that he tried to injure people at the Pit, a student-gathering place on campus, to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.

During one prior court appearance, Taheri-Azar tried to fire his court-appointed lawyer, but three months later, he changed his mind.

Taheri-Azar's lawyer said his client will plead not guilty to nine counts of attempted murder and nine other felonies. If convicted, Taheri-Azar would face 100 years in prison.

The judge could also set a trial date Tuesday. Court officials said the trial will likely begin next spring or summer.