Man sentenced for stealing Good Samaritan's car
Wendell Rodney Blue, the suspect accused of stealing and subsequently rolling a Good Samaritan's car earlier this year, has been sentenced.
Blue, 37, of Redby, was sentenced Monday for felony theft of a motor vehicle; gross misdemeanor third-degree driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to testing; and misdemeanor failing to stop following an accident involving injury or death.
He was sentenced to 20 months in prison for the felony conviction, one year in jail for the DWI conviction, and 90 days for the failure to stop conviction. Time for all convictions will be served concurrently, and was given credit in all for 115 days served.
He also must pay a $50 fine and restitution was reserved. Blue, who had pleaded guilty to the charges April 8, was sentenced by Beltrami County District Court Judge Shari Schluchter.
Blue was a passenger in a Chevrolet Lumina that crashed and rolled on U.S. Highway 2 shortly after 1 a.m. Jan. 29. A pair of Good Samaritans stopped at the scene to provide medical assistance to another passenger in the vehicle who had been partially ejected in the crash, and while they were providing first aid, Blue stole their Mitsubishi Eclipse.
He then rolled the Eclipse about one mile from the original crash scene.
A Minnesota State Patrol trooper responded to the second scene where and found an empty Eclipse upside down on its hood. He followed footprints that began at the scene and went along the westbound roadway and found a man, later identified as Blue, walking through the south ditch in front of the Wilton Liquor Store. Blue was covered with snow and had cuts and scrapes to his back and back side. He told the trooper he had fallen down, but the trooper reported that his injuries were inconsistent with a fall.
The trooper noted that Blue appeared intoxicated and noted a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes. Blue also needed assistance walking around the squad car. He refused to identify himself and also refused to submit to a breath test at the jail, saying that "I did nothing."
In an interview with police Jan. 29, Blue said he had been the front-seat passenger in the original crash vehicle and had fled to scene in order to use a phone. He said he was very intoxicated at the time and did not remember much. He said he remembered leaving the primary accident scene on foot, not in another vehicle. When told that the arresting trooper had followed his footprints from the second accident site to where he was found near Wilton Liquor Store, Blue said he didn't remember anything about a second crash and asked to return to his cell.