A 27-year-old man has pleaded guilty to quickly downing 10 shots of tequila at downtown Minneapolis bars before driving the wrong way on an interstate and causing a collision that killed two people in another vehicle.
Quoc Tran, of Osseo, entered his plea last week in Hennepin County District Court to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 30; a jury trial had been scheduled to start Monday.
Prosecutors said they will seek an eight-year sentence for Tran. If Judge William Koch goes with that recommendation, Tran would receive credit for time already spent in jail before serving about five years in prison and the balance on supervised release. The defense said it would seek a lesser sentence.
Driver Diana Rojas Martinez, 18, of Minneapolis, and her passenger, Christopher Jahmar Bunay, 19, also of Minneapolis, were killed in the crash on Sept. 26, 2017, on eastbound Interstate 94 between Lowry and 26th Avenues N.
Both were graduates of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis. A statement from the school soon after the crash described the two as “fierce friends [and] hardworking students.”
Tran admitted that he had been to two downtown bars and drank 10 shots of tequila in roughly 90 minutes. Tran entered the freeway on a downtown exit ramp.
"He said he was in a rush to get home at about 1:30 a.m., didn't realize he was driving the wrong way and then remembered waking up in the hospital," readastatement from the County Attorney's Office announcing the plea deal.
Rojas Martinez’s father spoke during last week’s hearing, and a letter was read from Bunay’s parents. Both said their children had bright futures in medicine and that they did not agree with the plea agreement because they wanted the maximum sentence allowed by law.