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Trial of US Bishop in fatal hit-and-run accident starts

Jury selection commenced yesterday for the hit-and-run trial of Bishop Thomas O'Brien in Arizona. If convicted of the felony, NBC is reporting that O'Brien could be sentenced to anything from probation to nearly four years in prison.

Jurors will decide whether Thomas O'Brien should have known that his car struck a person.

The former head of the Phoenix diocese was already facing criticism for a deal with prosecutors to end an investigation into alleged child abuse when the accident happened.

He resigned in June after being charged with leaving the scene of a fatal car-pedestrian accident. O'Brien told police he thought he had hit a dog or a cat or that someone had thrown a rock at his car.

NBC/AP - Catholic Bishop To Go On Trial In Fatal Hit-And-Run

Earlier CathNews reports:
CathNews 19Jun2003 - Vatican Accepts Bishop O'Brien's Resignation
CathNews 4Jun2003 - Arizona bishop preempts legal censure over sex abuse cover-up

13 Jan 2004