Abdullah El-Amin Shareef, 31, of Raeford, is charged with murder and four counts of attempted murder in the April 14, 2004, incident. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.
Authorities said Shareef stole a city-owned van in Fayetteville, hit and injured three men in Fayetteville, then ran over Lonel Bass in Linden, killing him. Shareef abandoned the van, took Bass' pickup truck and continued north, authorities said, running down another man in Harnett County before crashing the truck in Fuquay-Varina, where he was arrested.
The defense started to present its case Thursday, but the proceedings were put on hold to determine if the first witness, George Franks, could testify. Franks, who is a district judge in Cumberland County, is Shareef's former attorney.
Shareef has undergone mental health treatment since his arrest and entered an insanity plea in 2008. Defense attorneys say he was suffering from untreated paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the crimes.