Driver in crash that injured Tracy Morgan, killed comedian will seek dismissal in court

NEWARK, N.J. -- The truck driver who slammed into a limo carrying Tracy Morgan, killing one man and severely injuring the comedian, will ask a judge next week to throw out criminal charges against him.

See Full Article

Kevin Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck in June 2014 when he crashed into Morgan's limo van. The former "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" star suffered brain trauma, broken ribs and a broken leg, and his friend James McNair was killed. Two other passengers also suffered serious injuries.

Within days, Roper was charged in state court with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, though as of Friday he hadn't been indicted, said his attorney, David Glassman.

Glassman told The Associated Press he will ask a judge in Middlesex County on Tuesday to dismiss the case because Roper is unable to get a fair trial because of negative publicity surrounding Morgan's federal lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

Morgan settled with Wal-Mart this summer for an undisclosed amount. Roper wasn't a defendant in that lawsuit, but he filed motions in federal court seeking to have it delayed until after his criminal case was resolved. Those motions were rejected.

"Civil cases are routinely stayed for criminal cases to proceed," Glassman said in an email. "Had that occurred and a stay issued in the civil case, a tsunami of negative pretrial publicity would have been avoided and Roper's right to a fair trial would have been preserved."

Glassman also criticized the Middlesex County prosecutor's office for not stepping in and seeking a stay in the federal lawsuit.

"A prosecutor can't stand by while this occurs, and then seek to cash in by way of a speedy plea or conviction," he said.

A spokesman for the Middlesex County prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded in August that Roper hadn't slept during the previous 28 hours and failed to slow down immediately before the crash, despite posted warning signs on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury.

The board also said the failure of Morgan and other passengers in the limo van to wear seat belts and adjust headrests contributed to the severity of their injuries.

Glassman told the AP at the time the report was released that the NTSB did not have all the facts since it did not speak to Roper. He called the assertion that Roper had gone without sleep for more than 28 hours "factually wrong."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • 'Hotel Transylvania 3' tops charts, 'Skyscraper' stumbles

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" has checked into the No. 1 spot at the box office in its opening weekend and left the Dwayne Johnson action thriller, "Skyscraper," in the dust. Sony Pictures estimated Sunday that the animated family movie earned $44.1 million from North American theatres. Source
  • Lawsuit filed against S-Town podcast creators

    Entertainment CBC News
    The estate of the man at the centre of the popular S-Town podcast is suing the show's creators, saying they exploited details of his private life for financial gain. Craig Cargile, the executor of John B. McLemore's estate, filed the lawsuit Thursday in Bibb County, Ala. Source
  • Yvette Nicole Brown to be interim guest host of Walking Dead

    Entertainment CBC News
    Yvette Nicole Brown is filling in for Chris Hardwick as host of the The Walking Dead and Talking Dead while AMC Networks reviews sexual assault allegations against Hardwick. AMC announced Friday that Brown will be "interim guest host" of The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special on Aug. Source
  • Indigenous theatre without Indigenous actors: Robert Lepage criticized over Kanata

    Entertainment CBC News
    A week after cancellation of his controversial slave song show SL?V, Quebec's Robert Lepage is the target of criticism once again, this time over what appears to be a lack of Indigenous performers in a new show about relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Source
  • Indigenous artists criticize Quebec director Robert Lepage over new show

    Entertainment CBC News
    A week after cancellation of his controversial slave song show SL?V, Quebec's Robert Lepage is the target of criticism once again, this time over what appears to be a lack of Indigenous performers in a new show about relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Source
  • Yvette Nicole Brown is interim guest host of 'Walking Dead'

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Yvette Nicole Brown is filling in for Chris Hardwick as host of "The Walking Dead" and "Talking Dead" while AMC Networks reviews sexual-assault allegations against Hardwick. AMC announced Friday that Brown will be "interim guest host" of "The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special" on Aug. Source
  • More politicians say they were fooled by Sacha Baron Cohen

    Entertainment CBC News
    Some politicians are going through the several stages of panic associated with an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen: remorse, damage control, anger and regret for being duped. One of the comedian's latest targets, defeated U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, is threatening a defamation lawsuit over an upcoming episode of the comedian's new television series. Source
  • Indigenous artists criticize SLAV director Lepage for new show 'Kanata'

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec director Robert Lepage is once again being criticized for a lack of representation in one of his stage shows. About 30 people signed an open letter in Le Devoir today to denounce Lepage for not including Indigenous performers in his upcoming show "Kanata. Source
  • Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Nancy Sinatra Sr., the childhood sweetheart of Frank Sinatra who became the first of his four wives and the mother of his three children, has died. She was 101. Her daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr. Source
  • 'Diversity is there, even in the deep past': More period TV dramas exploring non-white stories

    Entertainment CBC News
    When actor Dalmar Abuzeid dons the shabby bowler hat of Bash, a newcomer on Season 2 of Anne with an E, he won't just be adding a character who didn't exist in the L.M. Montgomery books on which the series is based. Source