Trucker passed on plea deal, sentenced to prison

BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Texas truck driver, who passed on a plea bargain that would have kept him from serving prison time, has been sentenced to eight years behind bars.

A judge in northern Kentucky accepted a trial jury's recommendation Wednesday and pronounced sentence on 61-year-old Peter Mbugua of Wylie, Texas.

It took a jury just 15 minutes in November to find Mbugua guilty of second-degree manslaughter. The Kentucky Enquirer reported that Mbugua earlier refused a plea bargain that would have required him to admit knowingly driving his tractor-trailer truck with defective brakes.

Mbugua was exiting Interstate 71-75 in Boone County in March when he couldn't stop at a traffic signal and the rig hit 22-year-old Joey Lonneman's motorcycle.

The victim - from Richwood - died a short time later.

 (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)