Judge overturns jury's verdict in fatal hit and run

From staff reportsAugust 21, 2012 

— A Superior Court judge has reversed a jury’s guilty verdict in the case of a June 2011 death of a Randolph County teen.

A jury found Marcus Bridges, 21, guilty of felony hit and run and misdemeanor death by vehicle charge in connection with a traffic accident that resulted in the death of Morgan McKenzie, then 17.

Superior Court Judge Carl Fox, however, reversed the felony hit and run verdict in response to a motion by Bridges’ attorney, Butch Williams, asserting there was not sufficient evidence that Bridges knew he had caused an accident.

Police said Emily McKenzie, 23, was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu east on I-40 when Bridges tried to merge his silver 2004 Pontiac Vibe into her lane at the I-440 split. McKenzie swerved to avoid the Pontiac and lost control of her car and struck a tree, the accident report stated.

Morgan McKenzie, riding in the back seat of the Malibu, was fatally injured.

Fox sentenced Bridges to a 45-day sentence, 18 months of supervised probation, $1,000 in fines and court costs, 100 hours of community service and loss of his license for a period of one year for the misdemeanor charge.

“We’re pleased that Mr. Bridges can now get on with his life, he is very sorrowful for the death of this young lady, but it is time for him to move on with his life,” Williams said.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Waller said that he is sorry for the wasted time on the part of the jurors who spent four days in trial and another two days deliberating the case. He plans to appeal Fox’s ruling.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service