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

  • Liam Gallagher to make solo debut for Manchester relief

    Entertainment CTV News
    Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher on Friday announced his solo debut with a concert in his native Manchester to support families affected by the deadly suicide attack at the city's arena. The singer, infamous during the heyday of Oasis in the 1990s for his foul mouth and hard-living, said that Tuesday's show will raise money for a Red Cross-supported appeal following the blast that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert. Source
  • Guitar king Clapton honoured by France

    Entertainment CTV News
    Guitar legend Eric Clapton has been honoured by France for his services to music, the French embassy in London said Friday. Clapton was made a commander in the Order of Arts and Letters (l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) on Thursday by French ambassador Sylvie Bermann, who called him an "ambassador of the blues in France". Source
  • Brad Pitt, Pharrell among mourners at Chris Cornell memorial [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Brad Pitt and Pharrell joined mourners Friday at Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s memorial service at a storied Hollywood cemetery. Soundgarden music played from a portable speaker outside the cemetery’s gates as a group of about a dozen fans gathered outside. Source
  • Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor split

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Ben Stiller and his wife announced Friday that they are separating after 17 years of marriage. Stiller and actress Christine Taylor released a joint statement Friday announcing their breakup. They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority. Source
  • Ben Stiller and wife Christine Taylor announce separation

    Entertainment CTV News
    Actor Ben Stiller, left, and wife Christine Taylor during Stiller's Hand & Footprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, December, 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP) Source
  • David Hasselhoff denied Leonardo DiCaprio 'Baywatch' role

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Leonardo DiCaprio’s parents are still sore with David Hasselhoff for refusing to cast their son as his kid on Baywatch. Hasselhoff admits he ran into DiCaprio and his folks at the Cannes Film Festival premiere for The Great Gatsby in 2013 — and they still remembered the snub. Source
  • Anthrax wants to back up Lady Gaga

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Anthrax has offered to hit the road as Lady Gaga’s backing band after watching her front Metallica at the Grammy Awards. The Poker Face singer joined Metallica for a performance of their song Moth Into Flame at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and it was enough to convince guitarist Scott Ian that she should have a heavy rock act behind her at all times. Source
  • Chris Cornell of Soundgarden laid to rest in Hollywood

    Entertainment CBC News
    Music's elite and celebrities remembered Chris Cornell at a somber memorial service Friday that focused on the Soundgarden frontman's love of family and friends as much as it did on his musical achievements as one of rock's leading voices. Source
  • 'Embracing our girl power:' Alamo cinema chain doubles down with more ladies-only Wonder Woman screenings

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Alamo Drafthouse movie chain said this week it's "embracing our girl power" with women-only screenings of Wonder Woman at least two theatres in the U.S., but the move has left some men angry at being left out. Source
  • 'Embracing our girl power:' Movie chain doubles down on ladies-only Wonder Woman screenings

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Alamo Drafthouse movie chain said this week it's "embracing our girl power" with women-only screenings of Wonder Woman at least two theatres in the U.S., but the move has left some men angry at being left out. Source