A Golden Valley man was found guilty this week of killing a young couple after a north Minneapolis crash in which he was legally drunk and traveling at more than 100 miles per hour in 2013.
Philip Bertelsen, 56, waived his right to trial and a judge ruled on his case Tuesday.
He will be sentenced Oct. 6 on two counts of criminal vehicle homicide and three counts of criminal vehicular operation.
Bertelsen’s crash started a chain reaction of vehicles that ended in the deaths on Nov. 13, 2013, of Melvin Jones, 20, of St. Paul, and his girlfriend, Brandy Banks-Sutta, 21, of Minneapolis.
Authorities say Bertelsen was traveling at more than 105 mph just seconds before impact and not much slower about 1 second before. Test results showed Bertelsen’s blood alcohol content at the time was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving.
According to the criminal complaint from the crash:
Shortly before 1:30 a.m., a Ford Explorer and a Chevrolet Impala were stopped on eastbound Olson Highway (also known as Hwy. 55) at Morgan Avenue.
Bertelsen slammed his car into the rear of the Impala, which then hit the Explorer and propelled the SUV into yet another vehicle stopped at the intersection.
Michael Padden, an attorney who will be representing Banks-Sutta’s family in pending civil litigation, said his clients are glad that there is closure in this part of the case.
“Obviously, they are concerned about what the sanctions will be,” he said. “They feel justice will be served.”