A 22-year-old man accused of furnishing alcohol to his underage girlfriend, who was then involved in a fatal car crash north of Stillwater in January, has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge in Washington County District Court.
Brandon J. Hedlund, who was arrested in Somerset, Wis., and charged with providing liquor for someone under age 21 resulting in death, entered the plea Thursday. A pretrial hearing has been set for June 2.
"Our issue is that him buying the booze did not cause that accident," said Paul Rogosheske, Hedlund's defense attorney.
Alicia R. Haupert, 19, of Afton, was charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the single-vehicle crash on Jan. 29. The accident happened on Hwy. 95 in May Township and killed her friend, 20-year-old Andrea Zimmerman of Stillwater. Haupert and another passenger, Trisha Lee Hughes, 20, of Lake Elmo, were slightly injured.
According to the charges against Hedlund, Haupert had given him $20 to buy alcohol on the Thursday night before the 8:30 a.m. crash.
Hedlund admitted to police he bought vodka for the women, who then went to a party in Marine on St. Croix. Hedlund told a state trooper that he went to the party later and stayed about an hour. He noted that his girlfriend and the others "were drunk."