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Red Wing woman gets jail for vehicular homicide

Three-hundred-seventy-six days after her involvement in an accident resulting in a loss of life, Cassandra Smith learned her punishment Monday.

The 21-year-old Red Wing native was southbound on Hwy. 63 near CTH K last October when she went over the center line and collided with a northbound motorcycle driven by Dennis R. Manning, 65, of Pine Island, Minn. He died due to the injuries he sustained in the accident.

Smith was initially charged in March with three vehicular homicides – by intoxicated use of vehicle, by use of controlled substance and by negligent operation. The first two were dismissed in August as part of a plea agreement.

Monday’s hour-long sentencing hearing was an emotional one on both sides, as Manning’s relatives called for extended jail time to hammer home the seriousness of the offense.

Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles didn’t go as far as the relatives hoped, as he sentenced Smith to five years’ probation with a nine-month jail term as one of the conditions. He ordered Smith to start serving four-and-a-half months by next week, but stayed the remaining term over the probation period on the condition she participates at St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice (SCVRJ).

Boles told Smith, “I believe being in SCVRJ will be of a great benefit to you and those that are in your circles (there).” Smith must attend once a month and tell her story twice a year for the remaining jail term to be lifted.

For more please read the Oct. 16 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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