Driver in Pit Incident Pleads Not Guilty

After enduring months of mental competency tests and deliberation with his public defender, the UNC alumnus who drove an SUV through the heart of UNC’s campus last year will plead not guilty on all counts.

Mohammad Taheri-Azar ’05, who turned himself in to police shortly after the March 3, 2006, incident, entered the pleas on nine counts of attempted first-degree murder and nine counts of felonious assault. None of the people struck by his vehicle in the area around the Pit was seriously injured.

He is being held in Raleigh’s Central Prison in lieu of a $5.5 million bail.

Taheri-Azar has contacted various media outlets, including The Daily Tar Heel, and law enforcement officials since the incident. In his letters he has explained his actions as a means of avenging the deaths of Muslim around the world.

In June, he told a judge he planned to enter a guilty plea, but in letters to the media, Taheri-Azar said he would plead not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in court again on March 27.

Related coverage is available online:

Share via: