At the conclusion of a status hearing, at which prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their conflicting case schedules to the presiding judge, the retrial of Michael Jakscht will not begin until June 6, 2012. This was not good news for victims and families who have been waiting nearly two years for justice. The first trial, which ironically began on June 6, 2011, ended in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.
On March 25, 2010, Jakscht, now 48, was midway through his day of driving a roll-off truck when, according to his testimony, he glanced to one side. When he looked back to the road, he realized he was bearing down on 10 motorcyclists stopped at a red light at 27th Drive and Carefree Highway in north Phoenix. Jakscht claims to have slammed on the brakes and the 12-ton truck skidded to the left, over the top of the bikes and the riders. Several motorcyclists were trapped beneath the truck when their gas tanks burst into flames. Phoenix police said Jakscht failed a roadside sobriety test and his blood tested positive for meth. He is charged with four counts of manslaughter, five counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of endangerment.
The retrial date is much farther out than most of the victims and their supporters expected, but unfortunately there was no way to reconcile the schedules of the parties involved. Despite the fact that the attorneys and prosecutors want this trial to be completed as quickly as possible, the judge was not able to find a way to make that happen.
Jakscht remains jailed on a Bond of $1 million.