Truck driver charged in Tracy Morgan crash pleads not guilty

Kevin Roper (center) departs after his court appearance at Middlesex County Courthouse on June 11, 2014 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Roper pleaded not guilty to charges of death by auto and assault by auto. Roper is the Walmart truck driver accused of causing the accident that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan on Saturday, June 7.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A truck driver accused of crashing into a limo van carrying comedian Tracy Morgan has pleaded not guilty to aggravated manslaughter and other charges in New Jersey.

Kevin Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck when the crash occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike in June 2014. The crash killed comedian James McNair and seriously injured Morgan and others.

Roper entered his pleas during an arraignment on Monday afternoon in New Brunswick. He's also charged with vehicular homicide and aggravated assault.

Roper's attorney, David Glassman, has claimed Wal-Mart's settlement of Morgan's lawsuit generated publicity that harmed the Jonesboro, Georgia, resident's chance for a fair trial.

Federal investigators said Roper hadn't slept for 28 hours before the crash. His lawyer disputes that and is arguing to have the charges thrown out.