By Cleve Bryan and Molly Daly
BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) – A driver accused of eluding police and causing a crash that killed Millville Police Officer Christopher Reeves pleaded guilty Monday.
Early on July 8th, 2012, Timothy Seidel was speeding away from police when his car slammed into the cruiser carrying Patrolman Christopher Reeves and another officer, who were responding to a call for backup. Reeves was killed and the other officer was badly injured.
Seidel entered a guilty plea on the charges of aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault in exchange for a maximum prison sentence no longer than 20 years.
“He did not want to cause greater harm to the families, and in fact, wanted the closure process to begin, and avoid the unnecessary additional pain, trauma, and grief associated with protracted litigation and a trial,” said Seidel’s attorney Jeffrey Hark.
Seidel will be sentenced on October 24. Family of Christopher Reeves indicated they would not speak until the sentencing.
“This is a very important step in the process, we’ve gotten a guilty plea today and we’re excited about having the opportunity to go to sentencing and have victim impact statements from the family so they can tell us in their own words how they’ve been impacted by this very tragic event,” said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae after court.
More than a dozen of Reeves fellow Millville police officers attended the hearing Monday, but also declined to comment until the sentencing.
Members of Reeves’s family wore t-shirts with Superman emblems since he is a local hero who shares the same name as actor Christopher Reeves of the Superman movie series.
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