A competency hearing for a Garden City man charged with second-degree murder in connection with a fatal motorcycle accident in October 2017 has been continued indefinitely as the court struggles to schedule translators for the case.
Last month, Chief District Judge Robert Frederick scheduled a competency hearing for Monday for Bashir Omar, 32, 312 W. Mary St., who is charged with second-degree murder in connection with a motorcycle accident that killed 67-year-old Robert Becker of Garden City.
Omar made a brief apperance Monday in Finney County District Court, where his attorney, Lucille Douglass, said the defense has been unable to schedule a meeting where a Somali translator can interpret for Omar when he visits with a psychiatrist.
Judge Frederick scheduled a status check in the case for 10 a.m. Dec. 4.
Omar has been back in the custody of the Finney County Jail since October, after having spent time at Larned State Hospital, where he underwent a mental evaluation. The evaluation and issues scheduling a translator for Omar, a Somali immigrant who speaks little to no English, have caused several delays in the case.
Finney County Attorney Susan Richmeier on Tuesday said that Omar has requested an independent competency evaluation and that it has been difficult to find a translator who speaks his particular dialect. Richmeier said there is no known time frame for the evaluation to be completed.
As a result, there is no new date set for the competency hearing, after which Frederick is expected to rule on whether Omar is competent to stand trial.
Omar is accused of rear-ending Becker’s motorcycle with his jeep in the 2400 block of Fleming Street on Oct. 7, 2017. Becker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Garden City Police say Omar showed signs of impairment the night of the accident. He also faces charges of reckless driving and driving under the influence.
According to a police affidavit, Omar told police he was intoxicated the night of the accident by a combination of alcohol and something similar to betel nuts, a stimulant found in parts of east Africa and Asia.
Omar told police he saw the motorcycle before the accident but that it “stopped suddenly.” He said he did not take his foot off the accelerator during the accident and that it was “the will of God” that it occurred.
Contact Brett Riggs at email@example.com.