CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A judge determined Wednesday that a man accused of dismembering his mother and driving around with her body in the back seat is competent to stand trial.
Ari Liggett, 24, was arrested on October 17 after authorities found his mother’s dismembered body in the back of an SUV that Liggett crashed following a police pursuit. Investigators said they later found deadly potassium cyanide in Liggett’s house.
According to police dispatch radio, Liggett called authorities and said he was driving with his mother’s dead body.
Throughout the legal process, Liggett's attorney has said the Arapahoe County man is competent to stand trial.
"He clearly does have a mental disability," the deputy public defender said in December. "But not everyone who has a mental disability is incompetent."
The lawyer did not go into detail about Liggett's disability.
"He had the presence of mind to ask for a public defender," she said. "He is presently taking his medication. I understand the concern based on a lengthy mental health history. But he's been able to assist us by articulating his views."
Liggett's competency report was received Wednesday. After reviewing it, the judge ruled that court proceedings would move forward. A preliminary hearing date was set for April 12.
Liggett is charged with murder in the first degree, vehicular eluding and crime of violence.