A doubt was declared Friday about the mental competency of a woman accused of fatally striking a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor with a pickup truck in Valley Village and fleeing the scene last month.
Criminal proceedings were suspended for Joyce Bernann McKinney pending a psychiatric evaluation later this month, according to Paul Eakins of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
McKinney, 68, was charged Tuesday with one felony count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in death, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and assault with a deadly weapon — an automobile, along with an allegation that she inflicted great bodily injury on a victim 70 or older, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The charges — which carry a potential 11-year prison sentence — stem from the death of Gennady Bolotsky, who was walking his dog around 5:35 a.m. June 17 when a pickup truck hit him inside a marked crosswalk on Wilkinson Avenue at Magnolia Boulevard. The motorist fled the scene.
Bolotsky, who had celebrated his birthday two weeks earlier, was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Police said McKinney was arrested June 21 after a vehicle matching the description of the white GMC pickup involved in the hit-and-run was found parked near Hollywood Burbank Airport. She appeared to be living in the truck with three dogs, police said.
She was initially arrested on outstanding warrants for battery and public nuisance.
Bolotsky came to the United States from the Ukraine as a refugee during the Holocaust, one of his granddaughters said.
“Escaped Nazi occupation, everything was (against him) and this is how he went,” Adrianna Bolotsky told KCAL9. “None of us can put these pieces together.”
Still footage from security video of the scene showed a light-colored, full-size pickup truck with a camper shell and an attachment on the rear bumper.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection with the man’s death.