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Driver accused of killing newlyweds pleads not guilty

Jason Verwer pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.
Jason Verwer, 37, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Matthew Parkinson, 22, of Kuna, and his wife, Amelia, 17. (Photo: Payette County)

NAMPA - A driver accused of intentionally hitting and killing young Idaho newlyweds holding hands on a sidewalk has pleaded not guilty.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports 37-year-old Jason Verwer entered his not guilty plea Friday to two counts of second-degree murder.

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Authorities say 22-year-old Matthew Parkinson and 17-year-old Amelia Parkinson were killed in late January while walking along a road in Fruitland. The couple wed in December.

Police say Verwer was driving at a high rate of speed and intentionally veered onto the sidewalk to strike the couple. He was held for a mental health evaluation following his arrest.