Competency hearing ordered for Preston man accused of fatal accident

Kalin Menlove-McGinnis, 21, arrested in connection with a fatal accident, September 25 that killed Leigh Purser, 42, of Richmond.

LOGAN — A competency hearing has been ordered for Kalin R. Menlove-Mcginni, the 23-year-old Preston man accused in the fatal accident that killed a Richmond man.

Menlove-McGinni appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon for a pretrial conference. He previously pleaded not guilty to one charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony and no proof of insurance, a class B misdemeanor.

Judge Kevin Allen said the court had received information questioning Menlove-McGinni’s mental competency to understand the charges against him. He also said psychologists would evaluate the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the accident.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers claim Menlove-McGinni was driving a gray minivan northbound on US 91, in September 2014. Near the intersection of SR 61 in Cove, the vehicle drifted into the median, striking a black Jeep Wrangler from behind, driven by 42-year-old Leigh Purser. The impact pushed the Jeep into the southbound lane, where it was hit again by a Dodge pickup truck.

Purser was not wearing a seat belt and is believed to have died on impact. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prosecutors claim Menlove-McGinni fell asleep while driving home to Preston after working all night at a call center. They said the defendant told troopers after the accident, he had not slept in 48 hours.

During Monday’s hearing, Judge Allen said he wanted to move the case forward while the mental evaluation is being completed. He set a competency hearing for November 7 and a four-day jury trial to begin on February 7.

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