Minneapolis woman sentenced in fatal New Year’s Eve hit & run


A Minneapolis woman was sentenced to 45 months in prison for the fatal New Year’s Eve hit and run collision, which killed 37-year-old Aisha Freels, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.

Donella Shanice Day, 28, pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide. Before she was sentenced, Freels’ mother and aunt gave impact statements. They spoke of the traumatic loss Freels’ four children are experiencing as a result of never being able to see their mother again and that yet, Day, who is responsible for the death, will still be able to see her four children.

According to the criminal complaint, Freels was walking across Lyndale Avenue North near 40th Avenue to get into a waiting taxicab when she was struck by a blue sedan driving approximately 45 miles per hour. The cab driver stated that Freels was hit by the center of the car, causing her body to strike the hood and windshield. Emergency medical personnel declared her dead at the scene, which was in front of her house.

Day’s attorney wanted her to receive probation because she had no criminal history at the time of the incident. But Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Susan Crumb argued that Day deserved to be sentenced under the terms of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines because she was speeding, fled the scene and did not have a valid driver’s license. Day also did not turn herself in to police. In fact, she only admitted what she had done when the police came to her house three days later to follow up on a tip from an anonymous caller who identified Day as the driver of the car that struck and killed Freels.

Day was taken into custody and will be required to pay restitution to Freels’ mother and the Minnesota Crime Victims’ Reparation Board.\

Criminal Complaint (PDF)