Smith pleads guilty to vehicular homicide
A Red Wing woman plead guilty to vehicular homicide Monday in Pierce County Circuit Court as part of an agreement.
Cassandra Cleo Smith, 21, will be sentenced 2 p.m., Oct. 14 for the charge of homicide by negligent operation of vehicle, a Class G felony. The maximum penalty is a $25,000 fine and/or 10 years prison.
Smith was charged in March with three vehicular homicide counts -- by intoxicated use and by a controlled substance. Those two charges were dismissed as part of the agreement.
The charges relate back to an accident Oct. 3, 2012, on Highway 63, near County Highway K, in the Town of Trimbelle.
Witnesses told Pierce County law enforcement a black passenger car was southbound on 63, swerving all over the road, and went into the northbound lane, where it collided head-on with a motorcycle.
Police went to check on the passenger vehicle, where Smith identified herself. She said she was coming from Red Wing, which didn’t match the witness’ statement. She later told police she fell asleep, causing the accident. She then denied drinking intoxicants or taking any drugs prior to the accident.
Smith was later transferred to River Falls Area Hospital where a legal blood sample was taken. She told investigators she left her house in Red Wing and was on her way to Ellsworth, when she missed her turn and that’s why she was headed southbound on Hwy. 63. Investigators asked if Smith was using her phone while she was driving. She said the last phone call or text she got was before she left her house, which was later confirmed by a search of her phone records.
For more please read the August 21 print version of the Herald.