Testimony under oath angers Becida business owner
Where Jesse Dahl was drinking on the night of his fatal rollover is an unsolved mystery and likely beyond perjury charges.
Dahl, 30, of Brainerd, testified under oath Monday that he left the Becida Bar and Grill at closing time July 3 after drinking four spiced rum drinks.
Absolutely not, said bar owner Jane Miller.
"He's lying. He was never here," she said after reading about his testimony in Wednesday's Enterprise.
Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne, who was in a tax trial case Monday when Dahl testified, said Miller turned over surveillance tapes to him last summer.
"Because the defense was going to be that he was picked up at the Becida bar by the deceased, we obtained the surveillance tapes," Dearstyne said. "I viewed them and I did not see Mr. Dahl or the deceased in the establishment. What he testified to I couldn't tell you because I was in another trial."
Dearstyne said he asked investigators to look into Dahl's story because conflicting tales emerged from the moment Dahl was arrested at the Bemidji hospital following the single vehicle rollover that killed 28-year-old Brooke Rosemore of Floodwood.
But Dearstyne said proving perjury is difficult, because the establishment's surveillance tapes in and of themselves don't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Dahl or Rosemore weren't at the bar.
"I can't say that the tape would cover every inch of the facility," he said.
An angry Miller, who accused Dahl of trying to pin the death on her establishment, insists they weren't.
And Dearstyne said due to the conflicting stories, it may never be known what happened that night.
Dahl initially told authorities Rosemore picked him up at the bar that night and they headed south on County Road 3 where the crash occurred.
He has alternately said he was the driver or wasn't the driver of the vehicle that struck an approach and rolled south of County Road 9.
Monday he testified he was driving and veered to miss a deer.
He has also said he was in Bemidji earlier that evening visiting his father.
Dearstyne said none of the stories could be confirmed, except that Dahl was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Another story had Dahl in a rehab facility shortly before the accident. Dearstyne said under health insurance privacy laws, they could not verify that, either.
Dahl entered into a plea agreement Monday in which he pled guilty to Criminal Vehicular Homicide and Second Degree DWI. Three other charges were dismissed.
Dahl, whose driving record includes a DWI conviction in 2005 and an Implied Consent violation in 2010, will be sentenced Oct. 11.
A preliminary breath test showed his alcohol concentration at twice the state's legal limit after the crash.
The homicide charge is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered.
Meanwhile, Miller is still steamed that her establishment's name was besmirched under oath.
"Come on," she said.