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Red Wing woman gets jail for vehicular homicide

ELLSWORTH, Wis. -- A Red Wing woman will serve jail time for her involvement in a crash that killed a Minnesota man a year ago.

Cassandra Smith, 21, of Red Wing, Minn., was southbound on Hwy. 63 last October when her vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a northbound motorcycle driven by Dennis R. Manning, 65, of Pine Island, Minn. He died of his injuries.

Smith was initially charged in March with three vehicular homicide counts – by intoxicated use of vehicle, by use of controlled substance and by negligent operation. The first two were dismissed in August as part of a plea agreement.

Monday’s sentencing hearing was emotional on both sides, as Manning’s relatives called for extended jail time.

Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles didn’t go as far as the relatives hoped, as he sentenced Smith to five years’ probation with a nine-month jail term as one of the conditions. He ordered Smith to start serving 4½ months by next week but stayed the rest on the condition that she participates in a St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice program.

Smith must attend once a month and tell her story twice a year for the remainder of her jail term to be lifted.

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