GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - In July, the driver of a pickup truck struck and killed a little boy on a Grand Rapids street. Now, the boy's stepfather is in jail for stabbing the driver. On Tuesday, the driver testified about it all at the Kent County Court House.
Tuesday was the preliminary hearing at the 61st District Court to determine if the boy's stepfather, Dierre Coteat, will stand trial. Coteat allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed the driver of the pickup truck that hit his 2-year old stepson, Javonni Conley, in July.
The driver of the pickup truck, John Phillips, testified on Tuesday about striking the child, who reportedly chased a ball into the street between parked cars on the Grand Rapdis northeast side. He said he and his passenger didn't see the toddler run out into the street.
"When I struck the little boy we didn't even know we hit him. Neither one of us. And he had looked in the mirror and, it felt like maybe we run over a pop can, ya'know, pop bottle or someting pretty, felt very small. I said, 'What was that?' He looked in the mirror and he said, 'Oh my God.'" remembered Phillips.
Phillips was not charged with a crime. He testified that minutes after the impact, the enraged Coteat chased him around his pickup truck a few times and then stabbed him once after he fell. The defense is trying to show that the single lunge with a knife means that he was not trying to murder Phillips, as the prosecution has charged.
The hearing will continue on Sept. 20.
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