MINDEN, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada judge has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the August death of a bicyclist.
A criminal complaint filed Friday alleges Douglas County District Judge Michael Gibbons failed to exercise due care when passing bicyclist Joseph Longo of Gardnerville.
The Nevada Highway Patrol says the 61-year-old Longo and Gibbons were both westbound on Pinenut Road on Aug. 20, and the judge was making a right turn onto East Valley Road when the rear of his vehicle struck the bike.
Gibbons attorney David Houston issued a statement saying the judge was "surprised and disappointed" that Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson decided to file charges.
He says Gibbons thinks the case should be handled in civil court because his accident-reconstruction investigation found the judge did not hit the bicyclist.
Jackson told Gardnerville's Record-Courier he believed that it was appropriate for him to prosecute the case, noting his office has pursued cases involving family members of county officials.
If convicted, Gibbons faces up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
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