It was another brief appearance in Vernon County Circuit last Thursday for Dalton Mikkelson, who is accused of vehicular homicide in the death of Preston Nelson.
Mikkelson faces the felony charge of homicide by reckless use of a motor vehicle and another felony charge of causing great bodily injury by reckless use of a motor vehicle, as the result of an accident that occurred on April 12. He also faces a misdemeanor charge and several forfeiture violations in connection with the crash.
Mikkelson was allegedly racing his truck with another truck driven by Nelson at speeds estimated at up to 130 mph on Highway 14 west of Readstown, when the fatal accident occurred. Two passengers in Nelson’s truck were also injured.
Mikkelson appeared before Vernon County Circuit Court Judge Mike Rosborough in the presence of his attorney Todd Schroeder on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
In a conversation with Schroeder, Rosborough confirmed that Mikkelson was willing to waive his preliminary hearing.
The judge asked the defendant if he had talked with counsel about the preliminary hearing. He also asked directly whether the defendant wanted to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. Mikkelson’s answer was simple.
“Yes,” the 17-year-old red-haired defendant said. It would be the only thing that Mikkelson said in the minutes he stood before the judge.
Wearing a buttoned pink shirt, open at the collar, and a pair of dark colored slacks, Mikkelson stood next to his attorney at the podium in front of the judge. For almost the entire time, Mikkelson stood with his left hand in his pants pocket.
The judged ordered the defendant bound over for trial and the court moved on to an arraignment. Vernon County District Attorney Timothy Gaskill informed the court that it was agreeable to the prosecution to proceed, but noted the information was not filed yet in the case.
In a discussion between Rosborough and Schroeder over the defendant’s plea, the attorney informed the judge that his client would stand mute before the court, when asked to plead to the charges.
Judge Rosborough instructed the clerk to enter a plea of not guilty on Mikkelson’s behalf.
Schroeder asked the court for 60 days before another hearing was scheduled. He noted there was “a lot of discovery” to be done in the case.
Rosborough agreed with the request and scheduled a status hearing for Monday Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. Mikkelson’s $5,000 signature bond was continued.