Ten years on probation for man who ran over his wife

Thursday, January 07, 2016

David Meder was sentenced to 10 years on probation and eight months behind bars for running over his wife while drunk, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.

Hennepin County District Court Judge Fred Karasov told Meder, 59, of Minnetonka Beach that if he violates the conditions of the probation, he could be sent to prison for 48 months. One of those conditions is that he cannot drink alcohol during those 10 years. He will spend the eight months in the county workhouse. Once he completes his time, he can apply to have his probation transferred to Ohio, where Meder has been caring for his brother, who is suffering from cancer.

On the evening of July 24, 2014, Meder and his wife Diane, 57, were returning home from a restaurant. He stopped to reach into the mailbox and retrieve the mail and his wife got out of the car while he looked at the mail. He then pulled into the driveway and ran over her while she was lying on the pavement. She told paramedics it was an accident but she died at the hospital. Meder’s blood alcohol was .12.

Judge Karasov found Meder guilty of criminal vehicular operation after a stipulated facts trial. Thursday, Meder’s lawyer argued that his client should receive probation and community service with no time in the workhouse. His lawyer pointed out that Meder has no criminal record, has been remorseful and did not see her lying in the driveway when he pulled in.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Sarah Hilleren argued that he should get the 48 months in prison recommended by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. If the judge wanted to give him probation, Meder should at least have to spend 365 days in the workhouse, she argued.

“His selfish and reckless behavior caused the death of his wife,” Hilleren said. “He has, from the beginning, blamed his wife. He was drunk and he killed his wife. A sober person would have acted differently.”

Meder, when it was his turn to speak, gave a long and rambling speech about the parts of the pre-sentence investigation he disagreed with, the inaccuracies in the letters to the judge from his wife’s family and why he hired experts to help him understand why he didn’t see her in the driveway.

“The idea that somehow I don’t accept responsibility for my wife’s death is preposterous,” Meder said. “It’s a room I live in every day. It eats at my spirit.”