A Georgia truck driver, who was in the crash that killed a man and severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan in June 2014, pleaded not guilty to aggravated manslaughter and other charges on Monday, Feb. 1, at Superior Court in New Brunswick, N.J.
Kevin Roper was indicted by a grand jury in December 2015 on charges of aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and eight counts of aggravated assault. Authorities originally charged Roper with death by auto and assault by auto.
The charges stem from the June 7, 2014, crash near Cranbury, N.J., that killed James “Jimmy Mack” McNair and severely injured Morgan and others.
Attorneys for Roper argued unsuccessfully in December that the high-profile investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and civil lawsuits filed by Morgan and other crash survivors and their families against Roper’s employer, Wal-Mart, had infringed upon his right to a fair trial by an impartial jury. Wal-Mart settled the suits for an undisclosed amount of money and has since sued several of its insurance providers, claiming they failed to pay out on claims arising from the crash.
A motion to dismiss the charges is expected to be heard in April.
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