A man imprisoned for an attempted vehicle theft and assault that left the owner in a coma for five years is now charged with murder following the victim’s death.
Hennepin County prosecutors leveled the single count of second-degree murder against Scott Allen Lipe, 36, in connection with the incident on June 19, 2007, outside Mortimer’s Bar in Minneapolis.
It left Willie Mack Hervey, 42, in a nursing home in a vegetative state after he was thrown from a fleeing sport-utility vehicle driven by Lipe. An autopsy revealed that Hervey’s death, from pneumonia, was a result of the head injuries he suffered that night.
The enhanced charges were filed Tuesday gainst Lipe, who is serving a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree assault for the same event.
According to charges, Hervey stopped his Chevy Tahoe outside the bar about 2 a.m. and left it running while he got out to talk to friends. Witnesses said Lipe asked people in front of the bar if they would pay him to steal the SUV. When they declined, Lipe ran to it, jumped in and began driving away.
Hervey jumped onto the running board and held on to the driver’s window trying to get Lipe to stop. Witnesses say Lipe swerved into oncoming traffic in an attempt to get another car to knock Hervey off. Lipe allegedly struck two parked cars and threw Hervey off the side.
He then continued west on Franklin Avenue until he rolled the SUV and fled. Hervey, who lay motionless, was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. He never recovered.
Police found Lipe’s cellphone inside the SUV and witnesses identified him as the driver.
He was sentenced to prison in October 2007 after he pleaded guilty to the assault charge.