- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A man who was responsible for a fatal alcohol-fueled hit-and-run crash in Knoxville has been released on probation as part of a plea agreement after a new trial was ordered.

News outlets report that 26-year-old Curtis Scott Harper will serve the next 10 years on probation after pleading guilty Monday to three counts of vehicular homicide and related charges.

Harper had been sentenced to 30 years on three counts of vehicular homicide in 2013 in connection with the May 2012 deaths of three bystanders, including a pregnant woman.

In November, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a new trial, finding that the judge was wrong to allow the display of the trial’s most gruesome photographs because the images were unnecessary in determining whether Harper was speeding, drunk or both.

“Criminal trials are stressful for the victims’ families in a way most people cannot understand,” Knox County Deputy District Attorney General Kyle Hixson said of the agreement. “Our main focus was to protect the public safety, but also to do that in a way that limited the trauma to the victims’ families that an additional trial would create.

“This isn’t something we would have done without very close consultation with the victims’ families and their blessing.”

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