Farmington man’s criminally negligent homicide conviction overturned after appeal

A freak accident that sent a Farmington man to prison has resulted in exoneration.

The Fourth Judicial Department of state Supreme Court vacated the conviction of John Pinnock, according to the Finger Lakes Times.

He was convicted and sentenced to 1-4 years in prison for criminally negligent homicide after a crash on Route 96 in Farmington that killed a long-time Hopewell employee.

It happened in 2014. Pinnock’s tire came off of the vehicle he was driving, which caused a large truck carrying six tons of grain to swerve and tip onto a vehicle operated by Harold Schutt.

Schutt was pronounced dead at the scene.

The appeals court wrote that Pinnock was driving slowly – 10 mph – on the side of the road with his four-way flashers running. The pickup truck had a forged inspection sticker, but there was also no evidence that he knew it was a forged sticker.

“This was a tragic and freak accident that does not give rise to criminal liability,” the judges wrote.

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