DENVER – The Uber driver charged with murder in the June 1 shooting of his 45-year-old passenger on I-25 in Denver pleaded not guilty in court on Friday.
Michael Hancock, 29, will face a jury trial scheduled for April 1 of next year after Friday’s appearance.
Hancock was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Hyun Kim, 45, who was the passenger in Hancock’s vehicle when he was shot. An autopsy report showed Kim was shot six times and had a blood alcohol level of .308.
Police said in court documents that Hancock shot Kim after the two were in an altercation inside the vehicle. The documents say Hancock flagged down a witness after the shooting who called 911 and that Hancock also spoke to dispatchers.
Police recovered a semiautomatic pistol at the scene and found 10 spent .40-caliber cartridges on the shoulder of the interstate near University Blvd.
Family members of both Hancock’s and Kim’s were in court Friday. Hancock’s family has claimed he shot Kim in self-defense.
Uber confirmed earlier this year that the incident appeared to be associated with an on-app trip and that Hancock had been an Uber driver for nearly three years. The company said it has since removed Hancock from the app.
Uber policy bars riders and drivers from carrying firearms except in states that expressly prohibit companies from banning guns. While Colorado allows drivers to carry firearms to protect themselves and their property, Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun said the company's policy applies in Colorado.
Uber said earlier this year it was working with police on the investigation but said it couldn't offer further details.
The April 1 trial is slated for five days.