Ex-trucker ruled competent for Iowa murder trial

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A September trial has been scheduled for a former trucker who’s been ruled mentally competent for a murder trial in Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/11TlKz0) that 40-year-old Ronald Hawkinson faces two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 30-year-old Sherif Hidic and 49-year-old Robert Smoot. Hawkinson has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set to begin on Sept. 23.

Authorities say Hawkins had feuded with Hidic over money. Their dispute turned violent on May 17, 2012, on the grounds of Seibert Trucking and LCS Logistics in southeast Des Moines.

Questions had arisen about Hawkinson’s competency last December, forcing a delay of his January trial date. Last week Hawkinson’s lawyer cited four doctors who had vouched for Hawkinson’s ability to understand the case against him.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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