Driver charged with criminal vehicular homicide in death of bicyclist

Friday, February 07, 2014

John Iverson told police he had “too much” to drink as he sat in his van with a young bicyclist trapped beneath the wheels. Iverson was charged with criminal vehicular homicide (PDF), Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Iverson, 49, was charged in the Monday night death of Marcus Lavan Nalls, 26, who was struck and killed on Franklin Avenue near Garfield Avenue S., just blocks from his Lyndale Avenue apartment. Iverson is expected to make his first court appearance Monday. The county attorney is seeking bail of $150,000 and conditions including a monitoring bracelet which would detect if he consumed alcohol.

“The streets in Minneapolis and elsewhere belong to pedestrians and bicyclists as well as cars,” Freeman said at a news conference. “He was intoxicated, he was speeding, he ran over the bicyclists and then ran up onto the sidewalk and dragged him. This was unnecessary and it was tragic.”

According to the criminal complaint, Nalls was riding his bicycle westbound on Franklin Avenue near the curb. Iverson also was traveling west in his 1994 Ford van when he suddenly veered toward the curb, struck Nalls, knocking him from the bike and dragging him beneath the van as he struck a parked car, jumped the curb and then hit a dumpster, the complaint states.

When police arrived, Iverson still was in the driver’s seat, admitted he had “too much” to drink, stumbled as he got out of the van and had trouble maintaining his balance. Iverson was given a breath test and it registered a blood-alcohol level of .27, more than three times the legal limit of .08. A blood sample was taken at the hospital and results are pending.

The case file was given to the county attorney’s office Thursday and by late afternoon, a warrant was issued for Iverson’s arrest, Freeman said. Iverson turned himself into police late Friday morning.