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Kelly Duke waives competency hearing, will stand trial

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MILWAUKEE -- Kelly Duke, the 17-year-old driver accused in a hit-and-run crash that killed a New Berlin couple on New Year's Day, waived his competency hearing Friday morning, April 13th and will stand trial in the case.

Duke has been through two psychological evaluations and two doctors have found him competent to stand trial.

Jean and Ed Thaves

Duke is accused of driving drunk and causing the deadly crash, killing Ed and Jean Thaves of New Berlin.

Duke fled the scene after the accident, but was later turned in to police by family members. He is charged with multiple felony counts, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and hit and run.

Friday in court, Duke's attorney said they would not request an insanity evaluation -- something that had been discussed in past hearings.  However, his attorney did request a formal gag order for all parties involved, including the victims' family, specifically their son, Edwin Thaves.

Defense attorney Andrew Franklin argued Thaves' interaction with the media was tainting the court's ability to provide a fair trial saying, "he's disseminating inaccurate information and in any event, prejudicing the community that will ultimately be trying this case."

Thaves later responded saying, "I fully believe in freedom of speech. I believe in the right of this family to express their grief and their remorse."

Ultimately judge David Borowski decided against a silencing order, instead saying he would take the request under advisement, but cautioned all sides to use the appropriate discretion when discussing the case with the media.

Kelly Duke's trial is set to start May 7.

Other stories:

Judge requests Kelly Duke undergo another mental evaluation

Family outraged by request to reduce bail for Kelly Duke

Kelly Duke pleads not guilty in fatal hit-and-run crash

Edwin and Jean Thaves laid to rest after New Year’s Day crash

17-year-old faces nine charges in crash that killed New Berlin couple