Guilty plea from man fleeing police and killed three in crash

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Dayquan Hodge, who was driving at least 80 miles per hour on Cedar Avenue before hitting a pick-up truck killing three people outside of Matt’s Bar, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal vehicular homicide, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Hodge, 18, of Minneapolis, entered his guilty plea Friday and sentencing was set for June 5. Attorneys for both sides will be arguing the length of sentence. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines recommend a sentence between 128 and 180 months for a single count of causing death while fleeing police. As part of his plea, both sides agreed to a sentencing range of 300 to 480 months in prison. The 480 months is the maximum sentence allowed by law and the county attorney’s office will be asking for that.

According to the criminal complaint and Hodge’s admissions during his guilty plea, about 1:15 a.m. Sept. 23, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper saw a vehicle on Interstate 94 that had been reported stolen. The trooper followed the vehicle to the stoplight at Hiawatha Avenue and Cedar Avenue South.

When the light turned green and Hodge turned right onto Cedar, the trooper activated his lights for Hodge to pull over. Instead, Hodge sped away and was soon traveling 80 to 90 miles per hour. The troopers stopped chasing Hodge but he continued to speed through two red lights and traveled five more blocks

Hodge then ran a third red light and crashed broadside into the pickup truck at Cedar and 35th Street East. Kenneth Carpentier, 64, and his wife, Sheryl Carpentier, 65, of Bullhead City, Az.and their close friend Kimberly Gunderson, 48, of Minneapolis, were pronounced dead at the scene.

During his plea hearing, Hodge admitted to knowing the vehicle he was driving was stolen and that he intentionally fled at high speeds to avoid being stopped by police. He also admitted to smoking marijuana prior to driving.

Hodge had four juvenile passengers in his vehicle, each of whom suffered serious injuries but survived.