Rochester Man Sentenced For Killing Teen in Drunk Driving Crash
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - An Olmsted County judge today wrapped up a late afternoon hearing by sentencing a Rochester man to 8-years in prison for killing a young woman in a drunk driving crash.
35-year-old Sterling Haukom received the 96-month prison term with credit for the 433 days he has spent in jail since his arrest and conviction on a criminal vehicular homicide charge. He pleaded guilty in December without a plea agreement with prosecutors who had previously requested an aggravated sentence in the case.
Haukom was driving at a high rate of speed on a residential street after consuming more than a dozen alcoholic drinks at a local bar when his pickup smashed into a car driven by 18-year-old Erika Cruz. The deadly collision occurred on February 23 of last year at the intersection of 12th Street and 8th Avenue Southeast where her family and friends set up and maintained a curbside memorial to the recent graduate of Mayo High School.
The criminal complaint in the case says a blood test measured Haukom's blood-alcohol-concentration at more than three times the legal limit following the crash. The court document says he told investigators he had consumed about 15 drinks at a bar before getting behind the wheel. The "black box" computer in Haukom's vehicle showed he had the gas pedal pressed all the way to the floor for about 14 seconds before the collision and estimated his speed at more than 60 mph.
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