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California Briefing / SAN JOSE

Not guilty plea in cyclists' deaths

August 05, 2008|From the Associated Press

A Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy who struck a group of bicyclists, killing two of them, while driving on a winding road in Cupertino has entered a not guilty plea.

James Council, 27, entered the plea through his lawyer Monday and did not appear in court.

He faces two misdemeanor charges of vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of Matt Peterson, 29, and Kristy Gough, 30.

Council was on patrol March 9 when his car crossed double-yellow traffic lines and hit the cyclists, who were on a training ride.

Some witnesses reported that they heard the deputy say he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Council could spend up to two years in County Jail if convicted.

His next scheduled court appearance is Sept. 15.

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