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Prosecutor defends plea deal for driver in deadly crash

MARSHFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ Prosecutors are defending their handling of the case against a tractor-trailer driver who told authorities “God told me to do it” after causing a deadly southwest Missouri crash.

Thirty-three-year-old Adam Housley, of Mountain Grove, initially was charged with second-degree murder in the 2017 deaths of 48-year-old Tisha Briggs and her fiance, 47-year-old Leo Walker. But KYTV reports that Webster County Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser said in a letter to the victims’ relatives that he lacked evidence to support that charge because Housley’s truck didn’t have a collision avoidance system. Housley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and is free on bond while awaiting sentencing.

Walker’s cousin, Tracy Huddleston, says it’s “not fair.” Charging documents say Housley was looking at his cellphone and didn’t hit the brakes before rear-ending the victims’ stopped vehicle.

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