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Wrong-way driver on Minnesota 60 charged with felony DWI

Kenneth Murray has three prior impaired-driving convictions, two of which are felony DWIs.

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Mugshot for Kenneth Murray

NOBLES COUNTY — Kenneth Murray of Sioux Falls, South Dakota , has been charged in Nobles County Fifth District Court with felony-level operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, while having three prior impaired-driving related convictions in the past 10 years. Murray, 61, is also charged with a misdemeanor for driving after the revocation of his license.

On Dec. 17, dispatchers received reports of a wrong-way driver on Minnesota 60. A Nobles County deputy was traveling north on the highway at the time and observed a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction. The deputy turned on the squad's emergency lights but the driver did not slow down. The deputy proceeded to turn around and follow the vehicle at speeds of approximately 65-75 mph in toward Worthington.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Murray, reportedly did not slow down or change course, despite multiple vehicles coming directly at him. As Murray and the deputy neared Interstate 90, a Worthington Police officer turned on their squad's emergency lights in an attempt to stop Murray. Murray did not stop and entered a roundabout, reportedly striking the curb and narrowly missing another vehicle before driving over the median and back into the wrong lane.

Murray came to a stop at the intersection of Minnesota 60 and Armour Road, having traveled approximately three miles while being followed by the deputy, who had both emergency lights and sirens activated.

The deputy made contact with Murray through the driver's side door. While speaking with Murray, the deputy reportedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol, and observed that Murray's eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred. Murray also reportedly lacked balance while standing and appeared to have urinated in his pants.

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Murray was placed under arrest and transported to the Nobles County Jail. At the jail, Murray stated he did not want to complete any sobriety testing. According to the report, Murray also stated he was unaware he was driving in Minnesota. He said he left Sioux Falls to go grocery shopping in Brookings, South Dakota, and had gotten lost.

A search warrant was obtained for Murray’s blood and urine sample. Murray provided a urine sample which was sent to the BCA.

A review of Murray's record showed three prior impaired driving related convictions within the past 10 years, two of which are felony DWI convictions from Alaska and South Dakota. Murray is currently on parole for his most recent felony DWI and his Alaska driver's license is revoked.

The DWI charge against Murray carries a mandatory minimum three years imprisonment and a maximum of seven years and a fine of not more than $14,000. For the charge of driving after revocation, Murray faces 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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