Dakota County man pleads guilty in drunk-driving death

  • Updated: December 9, 2013 - 10:42 PM

A man from rural Dakota County who was drunk when he crashed his pickup truck in November 2012, killing his passenger, pleaded guilty Monday to felony criminal vehicular homicide. The plea came on the day Keri J. Gesme’s trial was to start.

Authorities said that Gesme, 27, of Hampton Township, was driving 83 to 106 miles per hour on Hwy. 50 near New Trier when his truck went airborne and hit at least one tree. Both he and his passenger, Dennis Paul Underwood, 27, of Cannon Falls, Minn., were thrown from the truck. Underwood hit a tree and died; Gesme was seriously injured.

Gesme’s blood alcohol content was measured at 0.20 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving, the county attorney’s office said.

District Judge Karen Asphaug will sentence Gesme on Feb. 18. Two other counts of criminal vehicular homicide will be dismissed at that hearing.

Pat Pheifer

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