A 21-year-old Minneapolis man was scheduled for trial to place his felony DWI charges before a jury last month. Instead, the defendant pled guilty to two counts of felony criminal vehicular homicide on the day the trial was scheduled. The allegations arose after a car accident on March 5 in Brooklyn Center.
Prosecutors claimed in the criminal complaint that the accused had been drinking in Minneapolis before he got in his car. The state alleged the man ran a red light while driving to his cousin’s house. Prosecutors say the 21-year-old crashed his Camry into a Geo Prizm. Two people in the Prizm reportedly died in the accident.
The defendant appeared in court for sentencing last Friday. Prosecutors reportedly planned to ask the judge to sentence the defendant to eight years in prison. They apparently changed their minds, saying “the defendant has shown little remorse.”
The judge sentenced the 21-year-old man to the maximum sentence allowed under the Minnesota Sentencing guidelines. The guidelines are a system that Minnesota courts use in an effort to promote some form of consistency in sentencing for all felony convictions in the state. The judge imposed a sentence of nine years.
The alleged DWI incident occurred in Hennepin County. The mother of one of the people who died in the March 5 crash is an employee of Hennepin County. Prosecutors from the Dakota County Attorney’s office reportedly handled the case because of the potential conflict of interest involved.
The Minneapolis man is facing a separate DWI charge from July 14, 2010, and had a revoked license at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors.
Source: Pioneer Press, “Minneapolis man gets 9 years for killing two in Brooklyn Center crash,” Maricella Miranda, Oct. 15, 2011