No plea bargain in death of Fort Gordon bicyclist

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — No plea bargain will be offered to the motorist police say struck and killed a bicyclist from Fort Gordon.

The case now goes to trial unless Daniel Johnson chooses to plead guilty. South Carolina 2nd Circuit Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr. says Johnson was excused from his second court appearance Friday.

The 41-year-old Beech Island, S.C., man is charged with reckless homicide in a crash that led to the death of Dr. Matthew Burke.

Burke, an orthopedic surgeon, was a U.S. Army major who spent six months in Iraq. Authorities say Johnson was driving his SUV on Oct. 1 when he struck several cyclists. Burke suffered critical head injuries and died nearly five months later.

Johnson, a former EMT who works for Aiken County Emergency Management, has no prior criminal record.

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Information from: The Augusta Chronicle , http://www.augustachronicle.com

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