Conviction upheld in cyclist's death - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Conviction upheld in cyclist's death

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JACKSON, Ms., (KNOE 8 News) - A Mississippi man's conviction in the death of Dutch cyclist Esther Hageman on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been upheld by a federal appeals court panel.

In 2010, Wendell G. Blount was sentenced to 10 years in prison for vehicular manslaughter in the 2009 death of Hageman.

Federal prosecutors say Blount was high on morphine when his vehicle struck and killed Hageman, of Leiden, Netherlands. Hageman was a veteran journalist for one of the Netherlands' major newspapers, Trouw.

The Natchez Trace is part of the National Parks system so Hageman's death was prosecuted in federal court.

Blount was convicted of manslaughter in April 2010, but authorities said he fled house arrest to avoid sentencing. He was captured in October 2010 in Baton Rouge, La. He was sentenced in 2011.

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