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Truck driver pleads guilty in Cary motorcyclist's death

Posted April 23, 2013

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— A Creedmoor man has pleaded guilty in connection with the 2010 hit-and-run death of a Cary motorcyclist on Interstate 85, authorities said.

Sean Christopher Newman, 39, was thrown from his motorcycle after a southbound tractor-trailer hit him near mile marker 220 north of Henderson on July 8, 2010.

State Highway Patrol troopers pulled over Michael Gray Rigsbee in Granville County, about 20 miles away. Witnesses told authorities that the tractor-trailer was driving aggressively before it slammed into Newman from behind.

Rigsbee, 41, was initially charged with second-degree murder, felony hit-and-run, failure to render aid and careless and reckless driving. To avoid a trial, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and hit-and-run involving serious injury or death and was sentenced to no more than three years in prison.

Newman was a freelance documentary photographer who traveled the world, family members said.


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  • Obamacare survives Apr 24, 2013

    Now he gets to be on the receiving end of someone else's pent up aggression.

  • SouthernPackerFan Apr 24, 2013

    Wow! no more than three years.....you see, this is the problem with the judicial system, plea bargins should not be allowed in cases of death

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 24, 2013

    albegadeep said, “1st degree is premeditated, meaning planned in advance.”

    Define “in advance”. 5 years? 5 days? 5 minutes?...which is 5 miles while driving at 60MPH?

  • bluebox1967 Apr 24, 2013

    I've had a personal encounter with this man. He threatened my son and chased him in his vehicle to our house. Fortunately I met him in the driveway , with a baseball bat. Within a minute the police arrived and the situation dissipated. He definitely has some anger issues that need addressed.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 24, 2013

    Thanks, prosecuters. This surely sets a great example for every rude, careless driver out there: “Don’t worry...not much is ever going to happen to you, even if you’re the rudest, nastiest, most impatient reckless driver who kills someone and tries to get away.”

    It’s open season on the rest of us.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 24, 2013

    "no more than three years" ????!!!! for driving recklessly, killing a guy, leaving the scene and not giving a rat about the guy while he died???

    WHAAAAAAAAATTTTT the huey ????

  • ripetomatoes Apr 24, 2013

    No deterrents to crime in this state. Another murderer goes free.

  • Hatchcover Apr 24, 2013

    "Let's see if he get's the same work release and weekend passes the Raleigh doctor does." - stymieindurham

    Doubt he has the connections ($) the Doc has!

  • 2AMANDA2 Apr 24, 2013

    as a member of the motorcycle community this story saddens me but it is happening more often because of these light sentences. recently the penalty for hitting someone on a motorcycle and causing injury was supposedly toughened... this case shows it is not. given all of the factors, involuntary should not have been an option. i would have loved for the second degree murder charge to remain in play. wreckless driving, aggressive driving, hit and run... too much for involuntary manslaughter. please keep in mind it says no more than 3 years which means he can be out in 1 1/2. please keep this in mind when you're voting for your state congress. if you don't like the penalties you see, use your voice. write your congressperson. that is what they are there for!

  • streetglide Apr 24, 2013

    another brother on a bike has been killed, from a agreesive driver,, and our system of justice hands out this kind of ruling. Makes a motorcycle rider not feel so important, then you hear about just today, another truck driver kills a little girl, passing a stopped school bus,, what is his punishment,, leave without pay!,, laws must punish in order for laws to work, and this was certainly not punishment,, he will be driving again in 4 years, while this family has to deal with it the rest of thier life.Should be on trial and convicted of MURDER, minimum of 20 Years! No parole !!