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Charges dropped in 'Idol' hopeful's death

  |   Nov. 29, 2011 at 9:45 PM
TOMS RIVER, N.J., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man arrested for the 2009 hit-and-run crash that killed a woman who twice auditioned for "American Idol" has pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

Daniel Bark, 25, also pleaded guilty Monday to eluding police as part of a plea deal.

In exchange for his plea, charges of aggravated manslaughter, death by auto and knowingly leaving the scene of a fatal accident were dropped, New Jersey's Asbury Park Press reported.

Bark admitted he drank about six beers at the Bamboo nightclub in Seaside Heights, then got behind the wheel of a car and ignored orders from two bicycle police officers to stop. However, he denied striking and killing aspiring "Idol" contestant Alexis Cohen, who was found dead in the area where Bark had been driving erratically, the Press said.

Although police said he initially confessed to hitting Cohen, the admission was determined to be inadmissible in court because Bark was not read his rights before he started answering questions, the newspaper said.

Bark is to be sentenced Jan. 27.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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