Kevin Roper, the truck driver involved in the vehicle crash that left comedian Tracy Morgan in coma for two weeks, has been indicted on charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and eight counts of aggravated assault, CNN reports.
A grand jury from Middlesex County, New Jersey, handed down the indictment Wednesday. Roper reportedly was driving for 12 hours before he started his 14-hour shift in June 2014, the report says. Morgan, comedian James McNair, and five others were traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike when Roper’s truck crashed into Morgan’s, killing McNair, the report says.
National Transportation Safety Board reported in August that Roper’s lack of sleep more than likely caused the crash, writes the news outlet. Meanwhile, Roper’s attorney’s claim Morgan’s civil suit against the truck’s owner, Wal-Mart, have hindered his chances of a fair trial.
The prosecutor “ran out of opportunities to corrupt the defendant’s right to due process and finally elected to present the matter to the grand jury which surprisingly after over a year of continuous negative publicity, returned an Indictment,” David Jay Glassman, Roper’s attorney, told CNN via email…..NTSB findings “bankrupted the defendant’s constitutional rights and ability to get a fair trial,” Glassman told CNN. Given the lack of any action to preserve the grand jury process or Roper’s due process rights, he said, “the question is whether an indictment returned under these circumstances will be allowed to stand. That is the question we intend to pursue before the court.”
Morgan received an undisclosed amount of money in a settlement with the company. McNair’s family also received $10 million in a wrongful death settlement with the company.
McNair’s sister Pamela McNair, said she forgives Roper for his actions because it was the way her family was raised.
“No one is perfect and we all make mistakes,” McNair’s sister Pamela said. “It won’t bring my brother back. But how he lived his life, he was such a loving and forgiving human being, and if he would forgive then so can I.”
Morgan returned to television this year in an emotional interview with Matt Lauer, followed by hosting Saturday Night Live in October. He also married his long-time girlfriend Megan Wollover in August.
SOURCE: CNN | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty