Local/State

Suspect pleads 'not guilty' in deadly police crash

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The man accused of killing a New Jersey police officer in a motor vehicle crash has pleaded not guilty to the multiple charges against him.

Timothy Seidel, 23, was pushed in a wheelchair into a Cumberland County courtroom on Tuesday morning.

That's where his lawyer entered not guilty pleas to vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, eluding police and other charges. It was all in connection with the July 8th crash that claimed the life of 40-year-old Millville Patrolman Christopher Reeves, the father of a 2-year-old.

"Instead of stopping Mr. Seidel rammed that police car, sideswiped it," said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Ostrowski.

As Reeves' parents, Wayne and Kathleen, watched along with about a dozen Millville officers, prosecutors recounted the 40 second chase that led to Reeves' death and asked that Seidel's bail be continued $500,000.

However, Reeve's lawyer argued for reducing it, noting that with a torn aorta, fractured ankle and injured knee Seidel can't walk and isn't physically or financially able to flee if he wanted to.

"He has nowhere else to go, your honor," said Jeffrey Hark. "At the present time my client is not even weight-bearing ambulatory in terms of his physical condition."

Seidel, who still has a large cut visible on his forehead, had his bail dropped to $400,000 cash.

After the hearing, offices said it was awful coming so close to the man charged in their colleague's death.

"I don't think he realizes the severity of what he did to us as a department--taking a friend, a father, a figure to the public," said Ptl. Nelson Ferrer.

Officer Reeves' widow, Sue, is also a Millville police officer but she did not attend Seidel's arraignment.

"She's not back at work and she's troubled by it all. I could not imagine what she's going through," said Lt. Ed Zadroga.

Timothy Seidel is being held in the infirmary at the Cumberland Co. Jail. His lawyer says Seidel extends his heartfelt condolences to the Reeves family and wishes a speedy recovery to Officer Jonathan Seidel - no relation - who was also injured in the crash.

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police, accident, cumberland county, new jersey, local/state
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