Judge sets aside part of guilty verdict in fatal hit-and-run

RALEIGH, N.C. — A man was convicted Monday of felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the death of a 17-year-old Randolph County woman but the judge on Tuesday did not accept the hit-and-run ruling.

Macuss Xavier Bridges, 21, was found guilty in the death of Morgan McKenzie. But the hit-and-run ruling was not accepted because the judge said the prosecution didn't have enough evidence to show he knew there was a wreck.

"It's kinda like one step forward and two steps backwards. You kinda lose a little bit of the progress you made," said Michael McKenzie, Morgan's dad.

Morgan McKenzie died last June after the wreck on Interstate 40. She was riding with her mother and sister when prosecutors said Bridges moved into their lane.

Officials said Morgan McKenzie's sister was driving and swerved to avoid hitting Bridges but lost control and hit a tree.

Morgan McKenzie died and prosecutors said Bridges never stopped, so police charged him with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle

Michael McKenzie said he feels like the system has let the family down.

"Instead of sounding like a judge, he sounded like an attorney that was arguing the evidence after the case was over," McKenzie said.

For the misdemeanor charge, Bridges was sentenced to 45 days in jail, one month of supervised probation, and he'll have to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs. He will also have to surrender his license for a year and perform 100 hours of community service.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jason Waller plans to appeal.

Bridges reportedly apologized in court.

"I am so sorry about what happened. I cannot express it with words," he said, according to WRAL. "If I could change anything about it would. I hope we can all get over it, and we can honor her memory."

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