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

  • Lawren Harris painting Mountains East of Maligne Lake fetches $2.5M at auction

    Entertainment CBC News
    Mountains East of Maligne Lake, a 1925 Rocky Mountains canvas by Group of Seven co-founder Lawren Harris, fetched $2.5 million in Toronto on Wednesday. The bidding war for the painting took place at Heffel's annual fall auction of Canadian art, held Wednesday evening at Toronto's Design Exchange. Source
  • Suit over erotic fiction about NFL player tossed

    Entertainment CTV News
    CINCINNATI -- A federal appeals court has spiked an Ohio couple's case against companies that distributed an erotic fiction book about a woman's desire for New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski. The 6th U.S. Source
  • Musician Amy Sky says David Cassidy should be remembered for his 'generosity'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Like many others who came of age in the 1970s, Canadian musician Amy Sky was a big fan of David Cassidy, the "Partridge Family" actor who died on Tuesday at age 67. So it was a thrill when she was cast alongside the TV star in a 1996 Toronto production of the musical "Blood Brothers. Source
  • William Shatner complains about Ontario condo using his name, likeness

    Entertainment CTV News
    HAMILTON - William Shatner is objecting to the use of his name and likeness to promote an upcoming condo development in Hamilton. The "Star Trek" star, best known for playing Captain Kirk on the original series, set his lasers on the project -- dubbed "Television City" -- on Twitter. Source
  • Christopher Plummer has this to say about retirement - never

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- At 87, Christopher Plummer isn't just working -- he's busy. He has five movies scheduled for release, including "A Christmas Carol" origin story called "The Man Who Invented Christmas." And he plans to work until the very end, literally. Source
  • Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter faces sexual assault allegation

    Entertainment CBC News
    Nick Carter says he's "shocked and saddened" by allegations made by a singer who said he raped her about 15 years ago. Melissa Schuman of the girl group Dream wrote in a blog post earlier this month that she was "forced to engage in an act against my will. Source
  • Report: U.K. police investigating 2nd Spacey sex-assault claim

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON -- Police in London are investigating a second allegation of sexual assault against actor Kevin Spacey, British media reported Wednesday. The Metropolitan Police force said it had received a complaint "of sexual assaults against a man" in 2005 in the London borough of Lambeth. Source
  • Canadian screen stars want 'action' from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Compared to Hollywood, Canada's screen industry is tiny. And by all accounts, there are fewer egos, bullies and power-trippers on the scale of Harvey Weinstein within it. "But of course there's been sexual harassment here. Source
  • William Shatner takes aim at Hamilton condo developer

    Entertainment CBC News
    Flashy Toronto condo developer Brad Lamb can now count a starship captain among his enemies. William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek series, took Lamb to task on Source
  • Nick Carter 'shocked,' 'saddened' by singer's assault claim

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Nick Carter says he's "shocked and saddened" by accusations made by a singer who said he raped her about 15 years ago. Melissa Schuman of the girl group Dream wrote in a blog post that she was "forced to engage in an act against my will. Source