A 29-year-old Rochester man who repeatedly drove without a valid license has been sentenced to prison for crashing his car while high on meth and killing his passenger, then trying to blame the wreck on a nonexistent person.

Jesse J. Juaire was sentenced in Olmsted County District Court last week to a nine-year term in connection with pleading guilty to criminal vehicular homicide for the August 2017 crash near Zumbrota that killed Cassandra Sims, 32, of Sargeant, Minn.

With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Juaire will serve about 5¼ years in prison and the balance on supervised release. Charges of drunken driving and driving after having his license canceled were dropped.

Juaire's car was heading south on Hwy. 52 near 165th Avenue shortly before dawn, drifted to the right and rolled several times. Sims was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Juaire told a state trooper that another man was driving and ran away, according to the criminal complaint.

Questioned further, Juaire said the crash was his fault. He also said he "had been on a meth binge for a while," the complaint read.

At the time of the wreck, Juaire had been ticketed at least eight times over the years for driving after having his license revoked, including once two months before the crash, according to court records.

In 2013, he was convicted in Olmsted County of criminal vehicular operation in connection with fleeing from a two-vehicle crash in Rochester. His criminal history also includes convictions for drug offenses, theft, burglary and disorderly conduct.