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East Meadow Man Acquitted of Manslaughter in Crash That Killed Cop

An East Meadow man has been convicted of some charges but acquitted of second-degree manslaughter in a crash that caused the death of a 25-year-old off-duty NYPD officer two years ago.

A Nassau County jury found Jonathan Lopez, 22, guilty Friday of assault, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Prosecutors said Lopez was racing his Nissan eastbound on the Southern State Parkway when he rear-ended a vehicle driven by Kevin Jessup of Massapequa in the early morning hours of September 2011.

“We respect the jury’s careful and lengthy deliberations in this difficult case,” said  Shams Tarek, spokesman for District Attorney Kathleen Rice. “Street racing endangers everyone on the road and its seriousness is reflected in the jury’s guilty verdicts.”

Jessup, who had been on the job since 2008, died shortly after the crash.

His passenger, 30-year-old Crystal Simons of Valley Stream, was treated for minor injuries along with Lopez and Dawn Smallwood of Melville, whose car was struck by Jessup’s vehicle.

He faces up to one year in jail when he is sentenced on Jan. 16.

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