LIBERTY, Mo. — An Independence man charged in a deadly Liberty hit-and-run had his first court hearing while wearing only a blanket Friday.
Prosecutors have charged 28-year-old Zackary Young with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 20-year-old Savanna Churchill.
Court documents say he admitted to intentionally hitting the woman while she was standing outside her car with a flat tire.
Before Friday’s court hearing, records say he refused to get dressed and go to the Clay County Courthouse. Instead, Young was arraigned in the Clay County jail’s bonding room over an hour after his scheduled court appearance.
Court records say he was wearing only a blanket.
The court entered a plea of not guilty for Young, and he will have a public defender assigned to him. Prosecutors requested Young have a mental exam, but the judge passed on making a decision at this time.
Court records note there are unique circumstances in this case. Churchill’s mother is a longtime employee at the Clay County Courthouse.
After Young’s arraignment, the judge said he planned to recused himself and transfer the case to the Clay County presiding judge for assignment.
Young is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 5 for a bond hearing.