Bandaki is charged with one count of murder and one count of leaving the scene of an accident in connection with an early-morning collision that killed 22-year-old Michael Sartinsky.
Bandaki allegedly made a U-turn on the freeway in Pasadena near the Lincoln Avenue exit at about 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2000, was traveling eastbound in westbound lanes when he allegedly collided with Sartinsky's car head-on.
After hitting Sartinsky's car, and despite serious injuries, Bandaki allegedly tried to flee the scene but was apprehended shortly after by police, officials said.
Since 2001, Bandaki's competency has been an ongoing, flip-flopping issue, said John Sartinsky, Michael Sartinsky's father.
John Sartinsky, who has attended all but one court proceeding since the case began nearly six years ago, was in court Wednesday with his wife and two family friends.
"Our years are marked off in court dates," said Harriet Sartinsky, Michael Sartinsky's mother. "It just hurts. We just want to move on and not have to plan holidays and vacations around these court dates. We already buried Michael, but this just makes it resurface."
It has been a long road for the Sartinsky family since the death of their only child, John Sartinsky said.
Michael Sartinsky was coming home from having dinner with his girlfriend and her family the night of the crash, John Sartinsky said.
He was well-liked by those who knew him, he said.
"You couldn't be around him and not laugh," said La Cañada Flintridge resident Allan Roughton, a family friend. "Coming to court every time brings back memories of the tragic end to his life."
Nearly 800 people attended Michael Sartinsky's memorial service in 2000, a testament to how much he was loved by the community, his mother said.
"He loved life, he loved people and his goal was to make a new friend everyday," she said.
While the Sartinskys feel Wednesday's proceedings were a step forward in the case, they say they are just looking for some kind of closure.
"There isn't anything at this point that can bring our son back," Harriet Sartinsky said. "It's not about revenge. We just don't want [Bandaki] to have the opportunity to do this to somebody else."
Knowing that Bandaki is at a mental health facility is somewhat comforting, John Sartinsky said.
"At this point, I know where [Bandaki] is, and that's a good thing," he said. "He can't hurt anybody else while he's there."
The next court hearing in the case is April 19.