A motorist who was high on marijuana and methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to slamming into a parked car in northwestern Minnesota and killing the man behind the wheel as he waited to report for work as a school bus driver.
Richard H. Fisette, 39, of Perham, Minn., pleaded guilty in Becker County District Court last week to criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the predawn crash on Oct. 29 in Frazee.
Court records show the prosecution intends to seek a 5⅔-year term ahead of sentencing on March 8, while the defense will pursue slightly less than five years. Whatever term Fisette serves, he’ll spend the first two-thirds in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Marlin Miller, 50, of Ponsford, Minn., was parked shortly after 6 a.m. in front of his workplace, Anderson Bus and Coach, at the time of the head-on crash.
“A car with no lights came out of nowhere and slammed into Marlin’s parked car while he listened to the news on the radio as he has done for the past 30 years,” the company said in a Facebook posting.
According to the charges, Fisette’s car hit Miller’s in a chain reaction that damaged four vehicles. Fisette told a sheriff’s deputy that a tire blew as he headed east on Juniper Avenue at roughly 35 miles per hour but added that his last glance at his speedometer showed he was going 42 mph.
He also told the deputy that he had smoked marijuana and meth the day before and last slept the previous afternoon for about 90 minutes “because of the methamphetamine high,” the charges said.
A witness at the scene said he saw Fisette driving with his headlights off and going above the speed limit.