Greenfield police officer pleads not guilty to negligent motor vehicle homicide


GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Greenfield police officer pleaded not guilty in district court Wednesday to a charge of negligent motor vehicle homicide.

Greenfield Police Sgt. James Rode was charged in connection with a deadly accident last fall that happened while he was on duty.

Read more: Greenfield police officer charged with negligent motor vehicle homicide

Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Mary Carey told 22News Rode was driving southbound on High Street in October of 2017 when his cruiser struck another vehicle, killing 29-year-old James Arcellana, of New Hampshire.

The accident also seriously injured Arcellana’s passenger.

Read more: 3 injured in crash involving Greenfield police cruiser

Carey told 22News Rode was traveling 83 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone when the accident happened. Rode was en route to a call for an erratic driver near the Greenfield-Deerfield line. 

Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh said Rode was seriously injured in the crash as well, and has not returned to work since the accident. 

If convicted, Rode could face up to 2 and half years in jail. He’s due back in court on October 18.

Read more: Driver involved in crash with Greenfield police cruiser has died

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