The Walmart truck driver who was responsible for crashing into Tracy Morgan back in 2014, has pleaded to guilty in the comedian’s lawsuit on Tuesday (Nov. 29), the Associated Press reports. The driver, along with “several other people” believed to share some of the blame in the accident, entered a plea in the New Jersey Supreme Court to vehicular homicide and four counts of aggravated assault.
The driver, Kevin Roper originally copped a plea of not guilty in 2014, but ultimately decided to reverse his decision. Although the charges are severe, it’s possible that Roper could avoid jail time and have his record expunged after completing 300 hours of community service and three years of an intervention program, according to AP. Roper is reportedly eligible for these terms of punishment because he had no prior criminal record. “It puts his future in his own hands,” Roper’s attorney, David Glassman said, per the New York Daily News. “He’s led an exemplary life up until that one mistake. And, assuming it’s going to go forward like that, he has his destiny in his own hands, and he won’t have a record.”
Roper struck a vehicle carrying Morgan and three other passengers from behind in New Jersey in June 2014, killing comedian James McNair and injuring Morgan and three other passengers. The former Saturday Night Live actor was promptly transported to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a number of severe injuries. Roper’s plea comes only one year after Morgan and the McNair family settled separate lawsuits with Walmart for their negligence.
Following extensive surgery and rehabilitation programs, Morgan made his first public appearance at the 2015 Emmys, followed by a nation-wide stand-up tour. Morgan is also set to appear in a self-titled TV series as well as the comedy film Fist Fight with Ice Cube in 2017.