Local News

Suspected UNC 'Pit' Attacker Pleads Not Guilty

Posted January 24, 2007 2:27 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2007 8:01 p.m. EST

— A man accused of driving a sport utility vehicle into a crowd of people at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in March last year pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Mohammed Taheri-azar is charged with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder and nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill in connection with the March 4 incident. If convicted, he could face up to 100 years in prison.

Taheri-azar said he drove through "The Pit," a popular gathering place on campus, to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.

No one was seriously hurt.

During a court hearing earlier this month, Taheri-azar told a judge that he would "like to get this whole court trial over with as early as possible."

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Wednesday that he would likely subpoena members of the media if the case goes to trial. Shortly after Taheri-azar's arrest, he sent letters explaining his alleged actions.

Taheri-azar is currently being held at Central Prison in Raleigh on a $5.5 million bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 27 when lawyers present their pre-trial motions.