LIMA — A Lima woman who police say intentionally ran down a bicyclist with her vehicle earlier this year has been deemed competent to stand trial.
Vonda Gilbert, 53, was indicted by an Allen County grand jury on June 13 on charges of felonious assault, a first-degree felony, and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a felony of the fifth degree.
According to court documents, Lima police responded May 10 to 200 E. Pearl St. in response to the report of a traffic accident involving a bicyclist. The victim, Nickie Craft, was traveling westbound on Pearl Street when he reportedly was struck by a 2002 Ford Escort driven by Gilbert. Craft told police he was struck from the rear and was run over by the vehicle, resulting in serious physical harm to his left arm, left shoulder and right ankle, court records show.
Gilbert fled the scene, traveling southbound on Union Street, and was involved in another traffic accident at the intersection of Wayne and Union streets. According to police reports, she was found to be in a state of intoxication and was taken into custody. Reports indicate Gilbert later admitted she knowingly struck Craft with her vehicle.
On June 2 Gilbert, through her attorney, entered a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges listed in the indictment. A competency evaluation was requested by defense attorney Carroll Creighton.
The results of that evaluation, conducted at the Forensic Psychiatry Center For Western Ohio in Dayton, were revealed in court on Tuesday. According to Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Thines, the finding of the psychiatric evaluator was that Gilbert is neither mentally ill nor intellectually disabled. That opinion, Thines said, “does not meet the criteria for the defendant to be deemed insane” and indicates Gilbert is competent to stand trial.
Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge David Cheney scheduled a jury trial to begin Oct. 1.
Gilbert appeared confused at the events taking place in court Tuesday and told the judge “this is the first I’ve heard about an evaluation.” Creighton said his client “does have some mental conditions that make it difficult for her to understand” some elements of the proceedings.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.