CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE - A New Jersey state trooper has been found not guilty of death by auto for a September 2006 crash that killed two teen sisters on their way to a store to buy milk.

Trooper Robert Higbee ran a stop sign while pursuing a speeder with his lights and siren off, and killed Jacqueline and Christina Becker, in Cape May County's Upper Township.

Jurors deliberated for more than 14 hours before returning the verdict late yesterday afternoon.

Higbee's lawyer had argued that the crash was a tragic accident but not a crime.

Higbee could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison had he been convicted. *