A teenager has admitted to eluding law enforcement on a well-traveled Minneapolis street at 80-plus miles per hour in an SUV before hitting a pickup truck and killing three people in their vehicle outside a popular bar.
Dayquan Hodge, 18, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty Friday in Hennepin County District Court to three counts of criminal vehicular homicide while fleeing police in connection with the late-night crash on Sept. 23 in front of Matt’s Bar at the corner of Cedar Avenue S. and E. 35th Street.
Killed in the crash were Kimberly M. Gunderson, 48, of Minneapolis, and husband and wife Sheryl Carpentier, 65, and Kenneth Carpentier, 64, who split their time between the Twin Cities and Arizona.
Injured in the wreck were four teenage passengers and Hodge, who did not have a valid driver’s license or insurance while driving an SUV that was reported stolen. Also, he admitted smoking marijuana while driving the vehicle and was on probation for theft at the time.
As part of Hodge’s plea, the defense and prosecution agreed to a sentencing range of 25 to 40 years, and the County Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that it will seek the maximum at sentencing on June 5.
The maximum term would have Hodge serving roughly 26⅓ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Kotrisha S. Brown, of Minneapolis, told the Star Tribune the day after the crash that her son was driving an SUV owned by his friend’s mother, who reported it stolen.
It was about 1:15 a.m. when the SUV drew the attention of the State Patrol on I-94 south of downtown Minneapolis. One trooper activated emergency lights to stop Hodge, but he sped away on southbound Cedar Avenue S., blew through two red lights and reached 80 to 90 mph.
Troopers abandoned the chase as they lost ground to the SUV, leaving a State Patrol helicopter to keep the vehicle in sight.
Hodge ran a third red light at Cedar and 35th, T-boned the pickup truck and killed Gunderson and the Carpentiers, who had just left a neighborhood family reunion.
The charges said Hodge admitted to smoking marijuana as they were driving around. He said he did not remember the crash but recalled being stuck in the SUV.