Balaton man pleads guilty to criminal vehicular operation
WORTHINGTON -- A Balaton man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in an early morning November 2015 crash that resulted in an individual being transferred to Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D. by medical helicopter.
WORTHINGTON - A Balaton man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in an early morning November 2015 crash that resulted in an individual being transferred to Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D. by medical helicopter.
Trent Minett, 21, pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation that caused substantial bodily harm while under the influence. He was 19 at the time of the crash.
During Wednesday’s plea hearing in Nobles County District Court, Minett said he and the alleged victim had been at a party and consumed alcohol. He said he lost control of his vehicle when driving on a gravel road to stay the night at a friend’s house.
“I was driving quite carelessly and driving pretty fast,” Minett told Fifth Judicial District Judge Gordon Moore.
Minett said, from what he could recall, the vehicle rolled four times. He guessed he was traveling at 60 mph, but the alleged victim told law enforcement Minett was traveling around 70 mph when she glanced over at the speedometer.
According to an amended criminal complaint filed in June 2016, Minett was traveling east on Durfee Avenue northeast of Adrian around 3:30 a.m. when he failed to make a sharp right turn. Lismore Rescue and Adrian Ambulance were performing first aid on a female passenger when Nobles County deputies arrived; she was observed to be bleeding from the face and head.
She and Minett were transported to the Sanford Worthington Emergency Department where the female was transferred to the trauma room and later flown to Sioux Falls, S.D. due to the extent of her injuries. She was diagnosed with facial trauma and a considerable amount of blood loss. She also broke her arm and had several lacerations on her face and head that required stitches.
Minett sustained injuries to his hand, according to the criminal complaint. A blood test, which was drawn more than three hours after the accident, indicated Minett had a blood alcohol content of .023 percent and THC in his system.
If convicted of the felony charge, Minett faces a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. However, if sentenced in accordance to the plea agreement discussed Wednesday, four other counts on the amended criminal complaint would be dismissed, Minett would not serve additional jail time, would pay restitution to the victim and all other terms left to the court’s discretion.
Moore deferred acceptance or rejection of the guilty plea pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation and chemical dependency test.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.