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Man accused of dragging Salem police officer behind vehicle not guilty

William Manning, a resident of Massachusetts, was cleared of a felony charge of reckless conduct late last month, according to the Union Leader. Judge Kenneth McHugh of the Rocking County Superior Court rendered his verdict following a November 19 trial, though the news only became available in recent days.

Manning had waived his right to a jury a month before the trial took place, as well as received approval from the court to sequester witnesses during the trial to prevent other testimony from altering their stories.

Manning was accused of dragging a police officer with his vehicle after a verbal altercation that occurred in August 2010. The Concord, Massachusetts, man and his family had taken an exit off of Interstate 93 at North Policy Street near Canobie Lake Park, where Officer Dave Hyatt was directing traffic. The incident reportedly occurred at a popular arrival time at the park, necessitating the policeman's presence.

Prosecutors said that after Manning, driving a Honda Odyssey, passed through the intersection, he turned around to yell at Hyatt for an unknown reason. Hyatt reportedly asked for Manning's license and reached into the vehicle to get it. At that point, attorneys for the policeman argued, Manning drove off abruptly, dragging the officer with the Odyssey before he was able to extricate his arm from the vehicle.

However, Judge McHugh found in favor of the defense, which claimed that Hyatt had never been dragged by the vehicle. On December 6, Manning filed a petition with the same court to have his arrest annulled, the newspaper reported.

If you have been accused of a crime like reckless conduct in the Granite State, be sure to enlist the help of an expert criminal defense lawyer. A New Hampshire-based professional can argue your case in court and ensure that you receive fair consideration.

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