updated 11/20/2007 1:26:06 PM ET 2007-11-20T18:26:06

A graduate student charged in the car crash that killed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

Kevin Jones, 27, entered a plea of no contest to the charge as part of a deal with prosecutors. He had previously pleaded not guilty.

As part of deal, he will receive a maximum sentence of 30 days in the sheriff's work program.

Jones, a University of California at Berkeley journalism graduate student, was driving Halberstam to an interview on April 23 when the fatal accident happened in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco.

Based on witness accounts and an accident reconstruction, investigators determined that Jones made an illegal left turn into the path of a car that had a green light.

An autopsy showed Halberstam, who was wearing a seat belt, died almost instantly when a broken rib punctured his heart, authorities said.

Jones, a University of California, Berkeley graduate student, suffered a punctured lung in the accident and took a leave of absence from school after the crash.

Halberstam, the author of 21 nonfiction books, was at work on a new one about the legendary 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.

The 73-year-old won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his coverage of the Vietnam War, a subject he revisited in his 1972 best-selling book, "The Best and the Brightest." He went on to write 14 other best-sellers, including "The Breaks of the Game," "The Reckoning," and "The Powers That Be."

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