PONTIAC, Mich. – The jury in the trial against a man accused of hitting and killing a Michigan State Police trooper reached a verdict Wednesday morning.
Charles Warren faced two felony counts of reckless driving and leaving the scene of a an accident resulting in death. He was found not guilty on all charges.
The 70-year-old Waterford man was accused of hitting Michigan State Police trooper Chad Wolf and dragging him under a trailer for miles Aug. 28, 2015 on Interstate 75 while Wolf was on patrol with his department-issued motorcycle. Wolf, 38, died hours after. He had been a trooper since 2008. He left behind a wife and four children. Warren was arrested weeks later.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor David Hudson told jurors Warren needs to go to prison for driving his trailer without lights and missing his turn onto I-75, then striking Wolf on his motorcycle.
"The evidence in this case is going to show the defendant knew, or had reason to know, he was involved in an accident and that it was his driving that was the cause of it, and that it was his continuing on that was the cause of this death," Hudson said.
Wolf was tossed across the top of the flat bed trailer. His leather jacket got caught on a trailer bolt. He was dragged beside that trailer for nearly four miles.
Wolf's body was found near the trailer at an I-75 rest stop.
The jury saw patrol car video of Warren talking to himself out loud, devastated to learn he caused the trooper's death.
Defense attorney Neil Rockind pointed out this was a tragic accident:
"Basically, what carelessness means is Charlie made a mistake. Knowing exactly what Charlie did, Sgt. Lidstrom said, 'Do you have any evidence that Mr. Ward made a mistake?' No."