Austin man withdraws guilty plea in fatal crash, will go to trial in May

Austin man withdraws guilty plea in fatal crash, will go to trial in May

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(ABC 6 News) – An Austin man withdrew his guilty plea in a fatal hit and run case Wednesday, Jan. 10, and chose to undergo a jury trial.

Darin Douglas Finley, 36, had previously pleaded guilty in the death of 41-year-old Melissa Rack.

RELATED: Austin man asks judge for probation sentence in deadly hit and run case – ABC 6 News –

Finley petitioned Mower County Court for a probation sentence, instead of the assumed sentence of 48 months in prison.

However, Judge Jeffery Kritzer denied the motion, citing Finley’s failure to report the crash or call for aid on Dec. 30, 2022.

As the motion was denied, Finley chose to withdraw his guilty plea and is scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing May 10 on two felony counts of Criminal Vehicular Homicide– driver who causes collision leaves scene, and blood alcohol concentration 0.08 or more.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin May 20.

February DWI plea

Finley also appeared in Mower County Court on a February 2023 DWI case — charges that were levied just under two and a half months after Rack’s death and Finley’s release from custody.

Finley pleaded guilty to that DWI charge Wednesday and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

An additional charge of driving after revocation was dismissed.

If he fails to complete his probation, Finley could be re-sentenced to 364 days in the Mower County Jail, according to Minnesota Court Records.

Finley’s probation terms include 27 days of electronic alcohol monitoring, the completion of 100 hours of community service, and participation in a Driving With Care program and MADD impact panel.