Brainerd woman sentenced to serve 50 months in prison for Criminal Vehicular Homicide.
According to Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie, Kerri Marie Zelinske, age 24, was sentenced in Cass County District Court on Tuesday February 25, 2014. Zelinske had pled guilty to Criminal Vehicular Homicide on January 27, 2014. At the plea hearing she admitted that, on October 10, 2013, she was driving her car southbound on Cass County Road 70 after having consumed alcohol on a friend’s boat. She subsequently crossed the center line striking and killing Leonard Grabowski, age 57 of Brainerd, who was riding his bicycle northbound on Cass County Road 70, in the City of East Gull Lake. Mr. Grabowski was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for a presumptive prison sentence of 58 months in prison with the District Court Judge having the option to sentence anywhere within a range of 50-69 months, without the sentence being considered a departure. In exchange for Zelinske accepting responsibility for her actions, Strandlie agreed to recommend that the court sentence to the low end of the guideline range. Zelinske requested that the Court depart from the guidelines and sentence her to less time.
District Court Judge David Harrington ordered Zelinske to serve 50 months in the custody of Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections. She will be housed at the women’s correctional facility in Shakopee, MN.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol collaborated in the investigation of the incident.