Two of fourteen remaining charges against the man accused in a high-speed chase, carjacking and crash in Lower Sackville earlier this year have been dropped.
Thirty-eight-year-old David Farrell appeared in Dartmouth Provincial Court on Tuesday, where Crown attorney Jennifer Mickelson told a judge there was insufficient evidence for a conviction on two counts of driving while impaired causing bodily harm.
Farrell is the only suspect in a Jan. 31 crime spree on Highway 101 that ended in disaster at a Circle K store in Lower Sackville. The man from Windsor, N.S., is alleged to have driven in the wrong direction during rush hour, forcing several cars off the road before crashing into a black Jaguar.
He is then alleged to have stolen a bystander’s truck while armed with a machete, before exiting the highway and crashing it into the convenience store at the corner of Lower Sackville Drive and Beaver Bank Road.
Two individuals suffered serious injuries in the crash — Michael Bowser, a father of three who was buying milk inside the Circle K store at the time, and a young cashier who worked there.
WATCH: Lower Sackville crash survivor talks recovery
Farrell initially faced 18 charges, including dangerous driving, assault with a weapon, assault on a police officer with a weapon, mischief to property, endangering life and flight from police. Four charges have now been dropped, and Farrell has been found not criminally responsible for his actions that night by a doctor.
A hearing has now been set for July 16, as that finding must still be verified in court.
“The judge has asked for the doctor to come and testify about the findings they have made about Mr. Farrell’s mental state at the time of the offence,” Mickelson told Global News after Tuesday’s court date.
Farrell is a diagnosed schizophrenic with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to family members who attended court this week. They declined an on-camera interview, but said that his health has improved dramatically while he’s been in treatment at the East Coast Forensic Hospital.
When Farrell first appeared in court on Feb. 1, he was gaunt and concealed his face from reporters with a hoodie. He has since gained weight, and Mickelson said he’s been deemed fit to engage with his lawyer in this case, even if he is found to have not been in a state of mind to commit an offense on Jan. 31.
The Crown and defense will now work together on an agreed statement of facts for Farrell’s actions that evening. If an agreement on facts cannot be reached by all parties, including Farrell, witnesses and additional evidence may be called in additional hearings.