HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A driver accused of nearly running over a police officer in the parking lot of Waimea Bay Beach Park last December has been found mentally fit to stand trial.
Circuit Judge Richard Perkins made that ruling Wednesday, after a panel of doctors determined that Daniel Nichols understands the proceedings against him and can assist in his own defense. The case will now be sent back to the trial judge for further hearings.
Nichols is charged with terroristic threatening, reckless driving, and resisting an order to stop.
Investigators say the 24-year-old crashed his car into the Waimea Bay sign and a Handi-van after nearly striking a female officer. Police say they first saw him speeding in Haleiwa, but he ignored their orders to pull over.
Defense attorney David Hayakawa says his client has a history of mental health issues, and that the same panel of doctors determined that he was mentally impaired at the time of the incident. Hayakawa says Nichols is on medication now and is doing much better.
The defendant is awaiting trial at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.
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