Meekins guilty in car chase that killed one, injured another


A Minneapolis man is expected to get nearly eight years in prison when he is sentenced next month for his role in a car chase that resulted in the death of one person and serious injury to a second, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.


Raheem Meekins, 27, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of criminal vehicular homicide-driving in a grossly negligent manner, and another count of criminal vehicular operation. His sentencing is set for Oct. 30 and he is expected to receive 92 months.


According to the criminal complaint, at about 9:30 a.m. April 30, Meekins, in a Jeep, and his co-defendant Chelsea Haynes, driving a Pontiac, were chasing each other on city streets when Haynes drove through a red light at 26th Street West and Blaisdell Avenue South. She ran broadside into a car driven by the wife of 32-year-old Jason A. Ritenour. Ritenour was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was seriously injured with fractured ribs, cuts and a concussion.


Meekins was in a relationship with Haynes’ sister and a woman who was in the Jeep with him. Meekins also had assaulted both women multiple times. The incident began at West Grant Street and LaSalle Avenue when Haynes threw a brick at Meekins’ Jeep and Haynes’ boyfriend punched Meekins. Meekins picked up the brick and threw it at Haynes’ windshield and the chase began.


When he pleaded guilty, Meekins admitted that during the chase of more than one mile, he hit speeds between 60 and 70 miles per hour on residential streets. He also admitted that at times he was chasing Haynes and sometimes Haynes was chasing him.


Haynes made her first court appearance Thursday and faces the same two charges to which Meekins pleaded guilty. Her next appearance is Nov. 6.