Ex-Walmart truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash takes plea deal

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Ex-Walmart truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash takes plea deal
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Toni Yates has the latest details.

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The former Walmart truck driver charged in the fatal New Jersey Turnpike crash that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan agreed to a plea deal Tuesday.

Kevin Roper, 37, was accepted in a pretrial intervention program following his admission of causing the 2014 crash.

Under the terms of the deal, Roper acknowledged that he is responsible for a criminal act, and prosecutors are offering the non-prosecution diversion program as an acknowledgement that he is a first time offender.

The deal was approved before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Michael Toto in New Brunswick.

In a television appearance earlier this month, Morgan said he had forgiven Roper.

"I forgave him," he said on an episode of "Conan." "And I'm not even mad at him no more."

Comedian James McNair was killed in the crash, and Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Roper was charged with aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault.

He was arraigned in February and pleaded not guilty.

Roper's attorney, David Glassman, has claimed Walmart's settlement of Morgan's lawsuit generated publicity that harmed the Georgia resident's chance for a fair trial.

Federal investigators said Roper hadn't slept for 28 hours before the crash. His lawyer disputed that and argued to have the charges thrown out.

The report concluded Roper failed to slow down immediately before the crash, despite posted warning signs on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury.