Motorist Pleads Guilty To Driving Drunk In 2017 Crash That Killed Woman Walking With Her Mother

A Medina woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing a pedestrian while driving drunk and agreed to five years’ probation.

Luann M. Johnson, 58, pleaded guilty in Hennepin County District Court to one count of criminal vehicular homicide with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of 0.08. Two other counts of criminal vehicular homicide will be dismissed.

Johnson pleaded just as jurors were about to be picked for her trial. She killed Mary C. Singleton, 56, of Plymouth, on June 12, 2017.

Johnson agreed to five years’ probation and at least half a year in the county workhouse and half a year on electronic home monitoring, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. She faces four years in prison if she violates her probation.

“Members of [Singleton’s] family expressed forgiveness in the courtroom Tuesday,” said a written statement from the County Attorney’s Office. “After the hearing was completed, Singleton’s sister asked to speak to Johnson. The two women hugged, Johnson apologized and they cried. A few minutes later, Johnson also spoke to Singleton’s husband and son.”

Johnson’s attorney, Dennis Johnson, declined to comment. Singleton’s family could not be reached for comment.

“This was a just outcome for all involved and the result was a rare occasion of a tragic death being resolved with compassion and forgiveness,” Deputy Hennepin County Attorney David Brown said in a written statement.

The office said the plea deal was reached with the involvement of Singleton’s family.

According to the criminal complaint against her: Johnson was seen “driving aggressively” on I-394/Hwy. 12 after leaving a fundraiser at an Eden Prairie golf club.

She turned north on Hwy. 101 and “suddenly swerved” across the southbound lanes. Her vehicle jumped the curb and struck Singleton, who was walking on the sidewalk with her mother.

Singleton was struck from behind about 5:45 p.m. in the 700 block of County Road 101.

The complaint said Johnson lied to police at the scene, saying that a tire had malfunctioned. The State Patrol found nothing wrong with her tires.

Johnson told police that she had been drinking at the fundraiser. A preliminary breath test that showed her blood alcohol content was 0.101%.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced July 15.

 

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