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Judge won’t dismiss charges against driver in trooper death

David Njuguna pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and related crimes in the death of 44-year-old Trooper Thomas Clardy. Christopher Evans/The Boston Herald via AP

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A judge won’t dismiss charges against a man accused of driving under the influence of marijuana and causing a crash on the Massachusetts Turnpike that killed a state trooper.

In a ruling issued Wednesday, a Worcester judge denied a motion to dismiss several of the charges against 30-year-old David Njuguna, of Webster. Njuguna has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and related offenses in the March 16 death of 44-year-old Trooper Thomas Clardy.

Authorities say Clardy had stopped a car for a traffic violation when his cruiser was hit by Njuguna’s vehicle in Charlton. Witnesses say Njuguna’s car had swerved across all three travel lanes without slowing.

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Njuguna’s lawyer had argued that several charges are “duplicative” and there was insufficient evidence to support the charge alleging Njuguna had used marijuana.