Richfield woman charged with third degree murder and criminal vehicular homicide
A 24-year-old Richfield woman was charged with third-degree murder and criminal vehicular homicide in the high speed collision that killed a Bloomington city employee, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.
Marie Jessica Hall also was charged with criminal vehicular operation in connection with the injury to the other Bloomington employee in the truck. Hall was expected to be released from the hospital Thursday and make her first court appearance Friday.
“This is tragic, sad and it’s really unnecessary,” Freeman said. “Anybody who slugs down vodka and then drives 100 miles per hour on American Boulevard is not very healthy. Why didn’t she pick up the phone and call someone like Crisis Connection? These were two public employees doing their job. They worked to clear snow from the sidewalk and they were just getting in the cab, probably to warm up, and they were hit hard enough to spin them 180 degrees. They don’t deserve to die.”
According to the criminal complaint, after 10 a.m. on Jan. 28, Hall drove to a store where she used to work, grabbed two bottles of vodka and threw money for it in the air and walked out. She took several swallows of the liquor and then drove at least 80 miles an hour on American Boulevard in Bloomington and witnesses saw her run red lights.
Tyler Lenort, 38, of Lakeville and his colleague had parked their Ford F-350 pickup truck in the center lane of American Boulevard near Fifth Avenue South and had a left directional arrow at the rear of the truck to direct traffic around them while they cleared snow from the sidewalk, the complaint states. The two men had just returned to the cab at about 10:20 a.m. when Hall smashed into the rear of the truck, hard enough to spin it half way around and kill Lenort.
Hall told police she was distraught over events in her life and drove that fast to “end all.”
Criminal Complaint (PDF)