A 27-year-old man who had a rolling feud with a rival driver on a residential Minneapolis street has pleaded guilty in connection with the death of a passenger in another vehicle that happened by.
Raheem Q. Meekins, of Minneapolis, entered his plea last week in Hennepin County District Court to criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation. He will be sentenced on Oct. 30 to an anticipated term of eight years.
The other driver, 23-year-old Chelsea Haynes, of Minneapolis, has pleaded guilty to the same charges and is back in court on Nov. 6.
In all, four vehicles were involved in the wreck April 30 at 26th Street and Blaisdell Avenue. Jason Ritenour, 32, of Minneapolis, died. His wife, Gaea Dill-D’Ascoli, was behind the wheel and survived her injuries.
Ritenour was active in ExperTease, a center where participants get in shape doing burlesque, belly dancing, pole dancing and other performance-based routines. He also was involved in acrobatics, performed at the Renaissance Festival and elsewhere.
Meekins has a long criminal history, with convictions for drunken driving, violating orders for protection in domestic abuse cases, drug offenses and burglary.
The in-motion showdown started when a sister of Haynes’ threw a brick at Meekins’ SUV near Grant Street and LaSalle Avenue on the edge of downtown. Haynes was in a relationship with Meekins at the time,
From there, the combatants got in their respective vehicles, and the two bumped into each other as they sped along at speeds of 65 mph and higher, the charges against both read.
With Meekins about five car lengths behind, Haynes ran a red light at Blaisdell and 26th and hit Dill-D’Ascoli’s vehicle on the passenger side.
Meekins’ driver’s license was revoked at the time of the crash.