A Missouri driver who rear-ended and killed a bicyclist has been acquitted of involuntary manslaughter.

The Sedalia Democrat reports that jurors returned the not guilty verdict Thursday in the case against 28-year-old Marty Kropf, of Smithton. He testified that he didn’t see 51-year-old Patrick Gwaltney before the July 2016 collision that killed the youth football coach. Law enforcement testified that Gwaltney would have been visible.

Kropf pleaded guilty to four traffic violations before the trial proceedings began, including failure to register a motor vehicle and failure to display valid license plates. Because he made the plea before the trial started, the jury wasn’t allowed to hear of those charges.

Defense attorney Eric Mitchell says that although they are pleased with the verdict, their “hearts go out to the Gwaltney family.”


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