A 30-year-old Twin Cities man has been sentenced to a four-year term for the wrong-way crash that killed an Iowa lawyer as she headed home last summer from a concert in St. Paul.
Brandon P. Dellwo, 30, of Shakopee, was extremely drunk when his SUV crashed into Kacy E. Merseal on Hwy. 19 near Northfield on Aug. 8, killing her and injuring her passenger.
Merseal, a 29-year-old Des Moines lawyer, had been engaged to be married on June 9, five days before Dellwo’s sentencing in Rice County District Court.
Dellwo had pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation. He will serve about 2⅔ years in prison and the balance of his term on supervised release. His sentence from Judge John T. Cajacob also calls for him to make restitution of more than $16,000 to Merseal’s fiancé, Vithoun Saysopha, and more than $13,000 to her mother.
She worked as a defense attorney and was returning from a Bruno Mars concert with a friend, Merseal’s fiancé wrote in a Facebook posting soon after the midnight crash between Lonsdale and Northfield. Dellwo’s full-size SUV weighed nearly 3 tons, while Merseal’s car was roughly 1,400 pounds lighter.
While in the hospital being treated for his injuries, medical personnel and a state trooper heard Dellwo say multiple times, “I just killed someone,” the criminal complaint said.
Law enforcement then took Dellwo to jail, where a preliminary breath test revealed his blood alcohol content to be 0.266 percent, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
Dellwo’s criminal history as an adult in Minnesota also includes two misdemeanor alcohol convictions as well as convictions three times for speeding, once for a red-light violation and another for operating an ATV without a license.