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Closing arguments heard in trooper’s dragging death

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Pontiac — Jurors in Oakland County heard closing arguments Tuesday in a criminal case connected to the death of a Michigan State Police trooper who was struck and dragged for miles while riding a motorcycle.

Charles Warren Jr., 71, declined to testify Tuesday. He is charged with reckless driving causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death.

On Aug. 28, 2015, Trooper Chad Wolf of Fenton collided with a trailer that was being pulled by Warren’s vehicle. Wolf became trapped under the trailer and was dragged for three miles on Interstate 75 in Springfield Township. The trailer’s lights weren’t on.

Wolf was found under the trailer after Warren pulled into a rest area.

Defense attorney Neil Rockind told jurors it’s a “horrible tragedy” but not a crime. In his opening statement last week, Rockind said Wolf had been following too closely behind Warren as the defendant exited Dixie Highway to the right onto the I-75 entrance ramp.

Assistant prosecutor David Hutson has said that when Warren chose that morning to illegally pull a trailer not equipped with working lights, he was driving recklessly. He also said Warren made a hard turn onto the entrance ramp.

Warren, who has been free on $10,000 bond, could face up to 15 years in prison on either charge, both felonies.

The trial is being heard before Judge Denise Langford Morris of Oakland County Circuit Court. Jurors discussed the case for a few hours before going home.

The 38-year-old Wolf was born in Geneseo, Illinois, and attended high school in Annawan, Illinois.