Woman Charged in Fatal Berkley Crash Declared Competent to Stand Trial
Sarah Gaynor, a 22-year-old Oak Park resident, was bound over for trial during a brief hearing in Berkley court Tuesday.
Sarah Gaynor, a 22-year-old Oak Park resident charged with second-degree murder in a fiery three-car collision in March, was declared competent to stand trial and bound over to Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court in Pontiac on Tuesday. She remains tethered and free on bond.
Judge James Wittenberg made the ruling during a brief hearing in 45A District Court in Berkley after reviewing a competency report submitted by licensed psychologist Timothy A. Koltuniak.
The four-page report – based on three interviews with Gaynor from July through November – indicated she is capable of understanding operations related to the case, which Gaynor verified in court Tuesday.
"The court will make a finding she is competent to stand trial," Wittenberg said.
Gaynor was involved in a collision March 20 near 12 Mile and Greenfield roads, in which Terrence Dyer, 42, of Detroit was killed. Moments before that crash, Gaynor also clipped a vehicle at 12 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway, Berkley Public Safety Deputy Director Robert North has said.
THC, a substance found in the cannabis plant, was detected in Gaynor's system after the crash.
Defense attorney Randy C. Rodnick has argued that Gaynor, who has been hospitalized for mental illness, was hearing voices at the time and has been unable to afford the medication she needs.
Wittenberg in June ordered Gaynor to undergo a mental competency and criminal responsibility forensic examination after Rodnick told the court that Gaynor suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Tuesday, Rodnick waived Gaynor's right to a preliminary exam.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge James M. Alexander will set the next court date in the case.