Pelfrey awaiting competency hearing

A Clark County man charged with killing two people in a Bypass Road crash and then threatening to kill a prosecutor is waiting to see if he will be able to stand trial at all.

James Robert Pelfrey, 86, is facing two counts of second-degree manslaughter, and single counts of second-degree assault, contempt of court and retaliating against a participant in the legal process. Thursday in Clark Circuit Court, the judge continued the case until May 2 while attempting to schedule a competency hearing with the doctor present, according to court records.

Pelfrey has been incarcerated much of the time since his arrest following the June 7, 2016, crash which killed two Richmond women.

Winchester Police said Pelfrey was driving his Cadillac at a high rate of speed on Bypass Road when he crashed into a stopped car at the intersection with Colby Road. Police said Pelfrey’s vehicle was moving at highway speeds at the time of the collision.

Two of the women in the other vehicle, Sarah Helfrich and Juanetta Mitchell were killed. A third person, Sadalia Mitchell, was flown from the scene to the hospital for her injuries.

Pelfrey was later released on bond and was in Clark Circuit Court for a competency hearing Nov. 16, 2017, when he allegedly threatened Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heidi Engel.

During a previous court appearance, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles Johnson said Pelfrey threatened to “shoot (Engel) on the courthouse steps.” Johnson said Pelfrey took a couple steps and repeated the statement.

Police searched Pelfrey’s house following the incident and found ammunition for a handgun, according to court records.