Driver accused in jogger’s death faces judge

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VISTA, Calif. — An Oceanside man accused of fatally striking a jogger in Carlsbad with his SUV last year pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and other charges.

Joseph Knight, 52, was arrested Friday in connection with the Dec. 28 death of 51-year-old Nicole “Niki” Lynch.

Knight had stopped after hitting Lynch on Carlsbad Boulevard, but was not taken into custody at the time.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant in March, but Knight could not be located until he was spotted at the Vista Courthouse last week, police said.

The day of the collision, police said Knight was driving a Ford Expedition that drifted onto the sidewalk, striking Lynch, who died at a hospital.

In addition to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, Knight is charged separately with driving on a suspended license. He faces a maximum of two years in jail if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Jared Coleman.

A readiness conference is scheduled for May 26 and trial for June 15.

Knight remains in custody in lieu of $55,000 bail.

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