PRINCETON, W.Va. — Charges were dismissed Thursday in Mercer County Circuit Court against one of the two men charged in connection with the May traffic death of Bluefield police officer Lt. Aaron Crook.
Morgan Smith Walker, 27, and Joseph Smith, 24, were both indicted in October on various charges including fleeing an officer resulting in death. The charges have been dismissed against Walker, according to a statement from Mercer County Prosecutor George Sitler.
“The body-cam footage taken during the traffic stop shows that Morgan Walker could not have been the driver of the fleeing vehicle. Walker’s admissions to being the driver were false. At the time he made them, Walker was severely intoxicated,” Sitler said.
Charges remain against Smith. His trial is set for Jan. 16.
On May 30, Crook, 32, and another Bluefield officer were responding to a pursuit involving another Bluefield officer and a DUI suspect. The driver stopped on U.S. Route 19. The location of the traffic stop happened just over the crest of a hill. The second Bluefield officer was unable to stop in time and collided with Crook’s vehicle. A state police cruiser encountered almost the same circumstances and struck the two crashed vehicles.
Crook died as a result of injuries suffered in the collision.