Fredric Atkinson

A Tarrant County man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter in connection with a hit-and-run death in Commerce last September.

Frederick Atkinson of Arlington was arraigned on the indictment Friday morning during a hearing in the 196th District Court.

Judge Andrew Bench accepted the plea and scheduled an interim hearing for May 15.

The Hunt County grand jury returned the indictment against Atkinson last month.

Atkinson is being held in the Hunt County Jail in lieu of a total of $1 million bond on a charge of manslaughter and $50,000 bond on a charge of failure to register as a sex offender, with no bond having been set on a violation of parole charge.

The Commerce Police Department identified Atkinson as the driver of the vehicle involved in a hit and run crash that claimed the life of a woman on Sept. 6, 2014. Detectives arrested Atkinson at an Arlington apartment complex four days later.

The indictment indicated Atkinson has two prior felony convictions for burglary of a habitation and one conviction for aggravated sexual assault, in addition to a previous felony conviction for failure to register as a sex offender.

Manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

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