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Michael Patrick Skubitz

Oak Grove fatal crash driver sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison

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DULUTH - A man with three DWI convictions was sentenced to double the guideline prison sentence in Itasca County on Monday for a crash that killed a passenger last year.

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Michael Patrick Skubitz, 28, of Oak Grove, Minn., was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison, ordered to pay $9,593.90 to the victim's family for funeral expenses, to pay fines and submit a DNA sample.

Skubitz pleaded guilty to one count of criminal vehicular homicide in Itasca County District Court on March 1. Skubitz was accused of driving drunk in an accident that killed a passenger on Nov. 8. Analysis of Skubitz's blood sample revealed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent, 2½ times the legal limit to drive, according to the criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, the one-vehicle crash occurred shortly before 10 p.m., when Skubitz 's vehicle left Itasca County Road 348, skidded broadside into a tree and came to rest in the ditch. The victim was found dead behind the driver's seat. The victim was identified only by initials in the criminal complaint.

Skubitz was charged with one count of second-degree murder and three counts of criminal vehicular homicide. According to court records, he has DWI convictions in 2003, 2004 and 2008. His driver's license is restricted to prohibit any use of alcohol or drugs. The Itasca County Attorney's Office reported that Skubitz has violated probation on multiple occasions.

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