Judge rejects charge against Georgia lawmaker in hit-and-run


FILE — Rep. Trey Kelley, R – Cedartown, speaks to the Georgia House on Thursday, March 29, 2018. A judge on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 dismissed a criminal charge of reckless conduct against Kelley, finding the lawmaker could not have committed a crime by not calling 911 in 2019 after a fatal hit-and-run accident. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge has dismissed a criminal charge of reckless conduct against Georgia state Rep. Trey Kelley.

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Polk County Superior Court Senior Judge Stephen Schuster ruled Tuesday that it wasn’t a crime when Kelley didn’t call 911 after a friend called Kelley about a fatal wreck.

The charge stemmed from the September 2019 death of Eric Keais in Cedartown. Ralph Dover III hit Keais with his SUV.

Instead of calling 911, officials have said Dover called Kelley.

The Republican in turn called Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome at home. Schuster says prosecutors were impermissibly stretching the law when they charged Kelley because he wasn’t the driver or even at the accident scene.

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