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Jury acquits man in traffic death of Michigan state trooper

FILE- This photo released by the Michigan State Police shows Charles Warren Jr., who was charged in a crash that killed a Michigan state trooper who was riding a motorcycle in northern Oakland County. The jury on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, ruled that Warren was not guilty. Warren, had been charged with reckless driving causing death in the accident that killed Michigan State Police Trooper Chad Wolf in August of 2015. (Michigan State Police via AP)

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A jury on Wednesday acquitted a Detroit-area man in the death of a Michigan State Police trooper who was riding a motorcycle when he was struck and dragged several miles by a trailer.

Charles Warren Jr. was charged with two felonies, including reckless driving causing death. But his attorney argued that Trooper Chad Wolf’s death simply was an awful accident that didn’t belong in court.

“This is not a case where we’re going to go around and pop bottles. … A man lost his life,” Neil Rockind said after the verdict.

He called Wolf an “extraordinary man.”

Wolf, 38, was on duty riding a motorcycle in 2015 when he collided with a trailer near Interstate 75 in Oakland County’s Springfield Township. The trailer, with no lights on, was being pulled by Warren’s vehicle.

Warren, 71, didn’t testify at trial. But he told police at the time that he had heard a “loud bump” and believed he hit a pothole.

Wolf’s death stunned police. Hundreds of officers from around the country attended his funeral. A state police spokesman, Lt. Mike Shaw, said the verdict was disappointing.

“It doesn’t diminish anything that Chad did in his lifetime,” Shaw said. “He was a hero.”

Wolf was born in Geneseo, Illinois, and attended high school in Annawan, Illinois.

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