DES MOINES, Iowa — A woman accused of intentionally hitting two juveniles with her SUV because of the color of their skin has now been ruled competent to stand trial.
Online court records show a judge issued a ruling Friday that 42-year-old Nicole Poole is competent to stand trial and her cases could move forward.
Back in February, court proceedings had been put on hold because the judge ruled there was evidence Poole suffered from a mental disorder that prevents her from assisting in her own defense. She has been undergoing treatment while in jail to restore her competency.
Poole is charged with two counts of attempted murder, plus assault, theft and drug charges.
She was first charged with attempted murder of a 14-year-old girl for an incident that happened in Clive on December 9th. Police say Poole attempted to run the girl down with her vehicle as she walked near Indian Hills Junior High in Clive because she thought the teen was “a Mexican.”
About an hour prior to that crash, police say Poole tried to run over a 12-year-old boy in Des Moines. Police said the boy is African American. Poole faces another attempted murder charge in that case.
Poole was arrested inside a West Des Moines convenience store later in the day after the alleged hit-and-run incidents. Police say she threw items at a clerk while directing racial comments at him and customers.
Poole has been behind bars ever since. Her next court hearing has been scheduled for May 28th.