Late HERO's family opposes plea deal in his death

Kirk Sherwood was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide in the death of Spencer Pass, the first HERO operator killed in the line of duty.

Pass, 45, a Highway Emergency Response Operator, died Jan. 31, 2011 when he was struck while assisting a motorist along I-85 south of downtown Atlanta near the Metropolitan Parkway exit. Pass allegedly was hit by Sherwood's pickup truck, which was towing a trailer.

Sherwood was arrested and later charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and other offenses.

He is expected to plead "nolo contendere," no contest, Monday in the State Court of Fulton County, according to a statement released by The Cuffie Law Firm.

Pass' family plans to be there to oppose the plea bargain the Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office has reached with Sherwood, the law firm said.

If the judge accepts the proposed plea bargain, Sherwood would lose his commercial driver's license for a year, receive a $1,000 fine and have to do 240 hours of community service, the statement said. He also would be required to take a defensive driving course.

Pass' family wants a guilty plea and wants the judge to impose a sentence that includes time behind bars. The maximum jail sentence for vehicular homicide in the second degree is one year, the law firm said.

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