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Trial delayed in hit-and-run death of lawyer

A judge has agreed to delay the trial of the man accused of running down and killing Roanoke lawyer Tom Farrell.

The lawyer for Jeffery Martin Young told substitute Judge William Alexander he needs additional time to explore Young’s extensive medical history as he develops an insanity defense.

Young reportedly has experienced psychotic episodes and serious injuries.  In one incident, his left hand was surgically reattached after he severed it with a chain saw.  Facing trial next week, Young’s lawyer asked for more time to track down all the records.  Alexander plans to reschedule the trial around the end of May or the first of June.

Young’s lawyer, Neil Horn, also expects a fight over whether the government can prove Young was the driver who struck and killed Farrell and, if he was, whether he had any criminal intent.  “Before we get to the insanity defense, they need to get past a motion to strike,” he said.

Roanoke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Leach told the judge he plans to offer evidence of an assault that took place after Farrell’s death to show Young’s intent — “that it was not a mistake or accident on his part.”

Farrell was struck and killed Jan. 28, 2008, while on a morning jog in Roanoke County.  There were no eyewitnesses.  Young was arrested two days later when he allegedly struck a woman in a parking lot at a Floyd County grocery.

UPDATE:  The trial now is scheduled for June 22.

By Peter Vieth

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