Accused hit-and-run driver involved in deadly crash heading to trial

Keller Russell

Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Accused hit-and-run driver involved in deadly crash heading to trial

CREATED Apr. 13, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr. 13, 2012

MILWAUKEE- A teen accused of driving drunk and killing a couple on New Year's day will go to trial.

Kelly Duke walked into court with his head hung, lifting his eyes briefly to look at his family.

The court hearing to discuss doctors' suggestions that duke is competent for trial.

"Mr. Duke, your attorney is telling me you are waiving, or giving up your right to challenge competency in this case, is that correct?" asked Judge David Borowski.

"Yes, Sir," responded Duke.

Something family members of of Ed and Jean Thaves -- the couple Duke killed -- are relieved to hear after a month and half of uncertainty.
                    
"I'm eager for that trial to get underway so that justice can be served," said Edwin Thaves, the eldest son.

But Duke's attorney, Andrew Franklin,  questions whether a local jury will be fair, suggesting the Thaves family has tainted the jury pool in their interviews with media.

"Quite frankly, although I'm not asking for it today, I think there's grounds for change of venue," said Franklin.

Franklin did ask for a gag order.

And, the judge is considering it.

"I have an obligation if this case goes to trial to pick a jury who can hear this case fairly and partially," said Borowski.

Edwin Thaves agrees Duke deserves a fair trial. But, he argues it shouldn't cost him, freedom of speech.

"The defense attorney certainly has his right to pursue all the means at his disposal. I have offered my opinions on those and I'm not going to apologize for offering my opinions."

Duke is due back in court next week.

 

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