Olmsted judge rules that Haukom could face unusually high sentence

(ABC 6 News) – The man who pled guilty to killing an 18-year-old in a drunk driving crash could face an unusually long sentence.

Sterling Haukom pled guilty in December 2021 to a charge of criminal vehicular homicide-operating a motor vehicle in a negligent manner, which resulted in the death of Erika Cruz.

In a five-page ruling issued Monday, Olmsted County judge Jacob C. Allen ruled that Haukom’s conduct was “significantly more serious that that typically involved in the commission of Criminal Vehicular Homicide – Operating a Motor Vehicle in a Negligent Manner While Under the Influence of Alcohol.”

The ruling supports an aggravated sentence, which could mean a prison sentence that is more than 20 percent higher than those assigned to people charged with similar offenses.

The ruling cited Haukom’s high level of intoxication at the time of the crash, admission and evidence of excessive speed, and “state of mind while operating his vehicle (that) went beyond simple negligence into gross negligence and/or recklessness.”

Haukom’s sentencing has not been scheduled.

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