Kenyan man charged with killing State trooper smoked marijuana before crash

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Kenyan man charged with killing State trooper smoked marijuana before crash

Kenyan man  charged with killing State trooper smoked marijuana before crash
(Worcester, MA, 05/18/16) David Njuguna is arraigned on charges in the death of Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy in Worcester Superior Court in Worcester on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. (Photo by Christopher Evans/Boston Herald) (Christopher Evans)

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WORCESTER — The man who slammed into Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy’s cruiser, causing the trooper’s death, has been charged with manslaughter after authorities say he was high on marijuana and speeding at the time of the crash.

David Njuguna, 30, of Webster, pleaded not guilty to the charges of manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide, operating to endanger, operating under the influence of drugs, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle in Worcester Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Clardy, 44, was on duty and pulled over on the side of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton on March 16 when Njuguna crossed three lanes of traffic and slammed into his cruiser. Authorities say Njuguna was driving 81 miles per hour at the moment of impact.

Driver in crash killing state trooper faces criminal charges

The driver who slammed into Trooper Thomas Clardy’s cruiser, causing the traumatic injuries that eventually claimed his life, is now facing criminal charges.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Travers said Njuguna was at a medical dispensary for marijuana one hour prior to the crash and got three marijuana cigarettes. Travers said police found one partially smoked marijuana cigarette and a second one missing from Njuguna’s car.

Travers went on to say there was a THC level in Njuguna’s blood when it was tested at the hospital.

“He absolutely denies he was under the influence of any drugs,” said defense attorney Peter Ettenberg.

Njuguna was also hospitalized following the crash. His initial court date in April was pushed back as he remained in a rehabilitation hospital. In court on Wednesday, his wrists were bandaged and his defense attorney said he continues to need physical therapy.

Prosecutors asked for Njuguna to be held without bail, but Ettenberg noted Njuguna turned himself in.

Photos: Funeral services for Thomas Clardy, state trooper killed in Mass Pike crash

View photos from Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy’s funeral, which will take place on Tuesday, March 22 at Michael’s Church on 21 Manning St. in Hudson.

Judge Daniel Wrenn ordered Njuguna held on $500,000 cash bail. Wrenn said if Njuguna made bail, he would be kept on GPS monitoring. Njuguna is due back in court on June 30.

Prosecutors noted Njuguna is in the country legally, but is not a citizen of the United States. He has been living in the Worcester area for nine years.

Kenyan man charged with killing State trooper smoked marijuana before crash

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