Evan Craft accused of running over man with car

LIHUE — A man accused of running over and killing another man with his car two years ago has been declared fit to proceed with trial.

Evan Craft appeared before Judge Kathleen Watanabe Tuesday via a video conference from the Hawaii State Hospital on second-degree murder and DUI charges for a status hearing to determine if he can continue with the court proceedings.

Earlier this year, Watanabe ordered Craft be examined by a panel of three doctors — Martin Blinders, Daniel Donovan and Terrance Wade.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing, Craft’s lawyer, Shauna Cahill said she had only received reports from Blinders and Donovan.

“According to HSH, my client was interviewed by Dr. Wade last week, so we’re just waiting for the report to come back,” she said.

But Watanabe said the court received a letter from Wade last week. In the letter, Wade said he believes Craft is fit to proceed with trial.

Craft, 34, is facing charges relating to the 2015 death of Michael Helppie.

In the early morning hours of June 1, 2015, police believe Craft and Helppie got into a confrontation at a bar. The incident continued outside, where Craft’s SUV struck Helppie near the Kalapaki Seawall along Nawiliwili Park, according to reports.

Helppie, 37, died at the scene.

Craft, who was arrested on June 4, 2015, was originally represented by Emmanuel Guerrero, who withdrew his services in December.

On Thursday, Cahill asked to continue the matter for a week to give her time to submit the fitness finding.

Craft is scheduled to be court again on March 7.

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