Not guilty for gov. employee in Zimbabwe crash

Tuesday - 7/30/2013, 3:10pm EDT

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (AP) -- A U.S. government employee who struck and killed a man while driving in Zimbabwe in 2008 has been cleared of the charge he faced as a result of the incident.

Judge Leonie Brinkema found Andrew Pastirik not guilty Tuesday. Pastirik's trial on charges of vandalism for causing more than $1,000 in damage to the government-owned Toyota Land Cruiser he was driving began Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Va. He was not charged with the death of the pedestrian. Pastirik had faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors alleged Pastirik was drunk when he struck 34-year-old Alois Pedzisai Matyoramhinga in Zimbabwe's capital of Harare. But Pastirik's defense attorney argued Pastirik was not intoxicated when he hit the man and that any other driver in the same situation would have had the same collision.

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