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Two UK Men Found Not Guilty in Negligence Case Connected to Ex-ELO Cellist's Death

Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty ImagesA pair of U.K. farmers have been cleared of charges with regard to the September 2010 death of former Electric Light Orchestra cellist Mike Edwards, who was killed when a large hay bale rolled onto his van while he was driving near Totnes, England. 

The BBC reports that the two men, 46-year-old Brian Burden and 23-year-old Russell Williams, were found not guilty of health and safety offenses brought against them following the accident, which occurred when the 1,300-pound bale rolled down a steeply inclined field, crushing Edwards to death.

Williams was a self-employed contracted worker who was responsible for baling the grass that caused Edwards' death on a farm that was owned by Burden.  Prosecutors claimed that "suitable measures" were not taken to secure the bale.  Williams and Burden, however, insisted that their negligence did not lead to the accident, and the jury at Plymouth Crown Court agreed.

Edwards was with ELO from 1972 to 1975 and can be heard on the group's 1974 breakthrough album, Eldorado.  According to the BBC, he was working for a water delivery service when he was killed.  He was 62.

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