TAMPA (FOX 13) - Defendant Mikese Morse pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder Friday in a Tampa courtroom.
Tampa police detectives say Morse intentionally ran over and killed a father biking with his two sons.
Morse posted rants on social media before and after the fatal crash.
Two weeks before Morse plowed into the family he had walked into a police substation looking for help.
Records show he told a police officer if he was allowed to leave he would hurt someone.
Morse's parents, Khadeeja and Michael Morse say they have tried for years, unsuccessfully, to get their son help for his mental illness.
Friday in court, Morse's attorney James Smith asked a judge to appoint a doctor to evaluate his mental health.
The judge agreed.
Morse's mother had plenty to say about that.
"I think the fact that his mental health was introduced to the court is the perfect example of the failure of the mental health system because everybody involved with this knew about it. The state prosecutor was at our house and read his medical records. The police department lets not forget were the last ones who Baker Acted him. When the public defender said they were looking out for the best interest of our son, they told us they ordered psychological evaluations for our son, suddenly those have not appeared. I am pleased that it came up today but it’s a travesty that it is just coming up today, “
Now Mikese Morse is a murder defendant, possibly facing the death penalty.
“We've worked so hard to keep Mikese on a good track. We’ve asked for so much help. To see him shackled and so incredibly thin and not being taken care of, as a mother, it rips my heart out. That's how I feel about it because this didn’t have to happen," sobbed Khadeeja Morse.
The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office has 45 days to decide whether it will seek the death penalty in this case.
Morse’s parents plan to meet with State Attorney Andrew Warran next week to explain the years of struggles they have endured trying to get their son help for his mental illness.