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The U.S. Marine Corps has charged a sergeant with negligent homicide in connection with a car accident that killed a Romanian rock star and triggered protests by outraged fans, the U.S. Embassy said Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Van Goethem, who worked as an embassy guard and has diplomatic immunity from prosecution in Romania, left the country immediately after the Dec. 4 accident in the capital Bucharest killed Teofil Peter of the band Compact.

His departure infuriated Romanians who held rallies to demand that U.S. authorities send him back for prosecution. Former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase had appealed to President Bush to waive the Marine's immunity.

The embassy said the Marine Corps investigated the accident, along with Romanian authorities, and filed charges of negligent homicide against Van Goethem, who is from Michigan.

He also faces lesser charges. The charges will be reviewed at a preliminary hearing.