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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, May 27, 2017 1:00 am

No jail for man, 19, in cyclist's death

Home monitoring, probation in hit-and-run

FRANK GRAY | The Journal Gazette

A 19-year-old Berne man was sentenced to three years of electronic monitoring at home and three years' probation after that for a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a cyclist in Allen County last year.

Aaron Moser was driving on Hand Road last Halloween night when he hit Nicholas Mruk, who was riding a bicycle on the road. Moser reportedly was looking at a text message when he struck Mruk. He reportedly stopped to see what he hit, saw nothing, panicked and left.

He initially told people he hit a deer, but a teacher with experience in body work recognized his car didn't have the kind of damage a deer would cause and told police. Moser eventually admitted hitting the cyclist.

Members of Mruk's family gave tearful statements to the court and asked for the maximum prison sentence for Moser.

Defense attorney Michelle Kraus questioned Moser's mother, who told the court her son was adopted from a Russian orphanage at just under 2 years old. She said he suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, post-traumatic stress, hyperactivity disorder and learning difficulties. He has been under medical care for those conditions most of his life.

He graduated from high school in February and has a job.

Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck suspended Moser's license for two years in addition to ordering the electronic monitoring and probation and ordered Moser to pay $22,878 in restitution.