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Final pre-trial hearing held for man connected to hit-and-run death of Kimberly Encinia

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Posted at 12:28 PM, May 12, 2023

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The final pre-trial hearing in the case against Michael Atkinson was held in the 347th District Court on Friday.

Atkinson is accused of hitting Kimberly Encinia on McArdle near Rodd Field Road on February 12, 2012.

Judge Rogelio Valdez heard two motions — the first was a motion to withdrawal from Atkinson's Attorney Stephen Giovannini.

Giovannini told the judge his client could no longer afford to pay him, so he would have to withdraw, but wouldn't be opposed to being his court appointed attorney.

Valdez ruled that since Atkinson was already declared indigent, he would deny the motion to withdraw and instead, appoint Giovannini as his attorney.

The second motion was an effort to quash wording in the indictment against Atkinson.

Giovannini argued that including the wording "deadly weapon" in the indictment was unfair because there was zero evidence to prove he had used the vehicle as a weapon.

Prosecutors said the wording was in the punishment part of the indictment, not in the criminal charges.

The judge sided with prosecutors and allowed the wording to stay, with the stipulation that the phrase deadly weapon would not be read as part of the criminal indictment at trial.

The case is now set to begin on May 30.

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