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Driver in road rage against bicyclists case ordered to stand trial after appeals court reversal

Driver in road rage against bicyclists case ordered to stand trial after appeals court reversal

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An Oregon motorist will stand trial for allegedly running a pair of bicyclists off of a rural Fitchburg road in 2015, a Dane County judge ruled Wednesday.

Circuit Judge William Hanrahan denied an attempt by a lawyer for John Dohm, 62, to call the bicyclists to testify, finding that a preliminary hearing was not the proper venue to argue competing inferences raised using the same evidence, but instead to decide whether the evidence could plausibly show that a crime was committed.

Hanrahan told Dohm’s lawyer, Charles Giesen, that arguments about evidence and the credibility of witnesses was an issue for trial, not a preliminary hearing. Giesen argued that Dohm had a right to present testimony at the hearing.

Dohm is charged with two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of reckless driving causing injury. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In January 2016, another Dane County judge dismissed the charges against Dohm, finding that probable cause hadn’t been established after the prosecutor in the case at the time refused Giesen’s call for testimony by one of the bicyclists.

But in March, a state appeals court reinstated the case, which led to Wednesday’s preliminary hearing.

A criminal complaint states that in August 2015, after some words were exchanged between Dohm and the bicyclists, Dohm’s car made contact with one of the bicycles, which collided with the other bicycle, causing both riders to fall and suffer injuries.

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